FINES totalling £5,000 have been issued by Hillingdon Council to three bars and restaurants who broke COVID-19 rules.

All three were operating outside the 10pm curfew, while two were found crowded with no social distancing measures in place.

A shisha lounge in Hayes was reported to have hosted a gathering of around 200 people and was fined £3,000 for three breaches after an inspection.

This included operating outside the curfew, not displaying NHS QR posters and allowing large gatherings with no social distancing. The business was also allowing people to smoke shisha in an enclosed environment.

Another shisha bar in Hayes and a restaurant in Ruislip were found operating outside the curfew. The restaurant had around 50 people eating and drinking inside. Both were fined £1,000 for the offences.

Sir Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “We cannot allow lives to be put at risk by careless businesses who think they can flout the law.

“The unacceptable and reckless behaviour of these businesses could have potentially put hundreds of people at risk of being infected.”