A WORCESTER pub had to close after trouble in the city centre, this paper has been told.

The Worcester News understands police and council licensing officers were at The Courtyard on Saturday night and spoke to the manager to suggest that they close the premises, which led to it shutting early.

It is rumoured this happened after trouble outside in St Nicholas Street, with punches thrown.

A Worcester News reporter was unsuccessful when they tried to speak to the pub but on its Facebook page yesterday it posted: “Customers please note as of Friday our opening hours for Friday and Saturday will be as follows: 12 until 7pm close for a hour to deep clean then re open at 8pm.

"We have a one way system in place that has to be followed also a box and paper and at the end of the bar for you to leave you name and number for the NHS track and trace.

"Social distance rules will be enforced, everyone must be seated at a table, our toilets are one in one out, anyone found not complying will be asked to comply or be asked to leave.

"This may seem very strict but the rules are the rules and this is for everyone’s safety.”

West Mercia Police did not comment before our deadline but in a media release thanking the public after pubs and bars were able to reopen, Rachel Jones, assistant chief constable for local policing, said: “Over the weekend it was clear that the vast majority of licensees had gone to great lengths to ensure they could operate safely for both their customers and their staff and I’m pleased to say that the weekend passed without significant alcohol-related incident.

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"It was great to see people enjoying themselves sensibly, following social distancing guidelines.

"We attended some minor disorder incidents across our force area but generally we were really pleased to see people respecting the restrictions that are still in place."

Police do not have powers to close pubs, only Worcester City Council licensing is able to do this and a spokesman for the authority told us the police had not applied to close any pubs.

Daile Traylor, landlord of the Prince of Wales, Windermere Drive, said rumours of problems there were inaccurate as the only trouble they had was telling a couple of people to leave.

“That was at 5pm,” the landlord said.

“Later on we weren’t accepting people in if they had been elsewhere, and had been rowdy.

"We were full anyway. On Sunday it was just our regulars.

"It was a good weekend.”

And a spokesman for the Oak Apple, in Spetchley Road, told us they took the decision to close early after hearing of trouble, saying they felt it was safer to do this.

The spokesman added it had been a successful opening weekend, with people following social distancing.