A Beckenham bar owner is asking for an apology after police falsely claimed his business had been shut down for breaching coronavirus rules, when it closed voluntarily.

Michael Robinson, 30, decided he had no choice but to close Bridge Bar, on High St, last Saturday, as Tier 2 restrictions, which prohibit people from different households mixing indoors, came into force.

But on Saturday afternoon, Copers Cope Police tweeted the bar had been “ordered to close” after it “repeatedly breached Covid regulations”, despite the business never having been visited by the police or Council.

A clarification published today, almost 48 hours later, read: “Yesterday local police incorrectly stated that the Bridge Bar and Coach and Horses in Beckenham were ordered to close.

“This was incorrect.

“This was a management decision and not a police requirement.”

Mr Robinson feels the latest statement does not go far enough, given the damage done to the business’ reputation.

He said: “It’s come to a point where a lot of people are telling me to sue the police for libel.

“Times are tough, and we’ve been going the extra mile to operate as Covid secure.

“It’s just a terrible story for a local business, which is especially frustrating as we do a lot for the area.

“We host charity events, promote local signers and employ over 50 members of staff.

“We’ve already had to turn away so much business in order to follow the rules, so it’s particularly gutting.

“I’ve been in touch with them and they’ve told me the guy involved was out of order.

“But the statement they put out was just a clarification really.

“I’m frustrated that they couldn’t properly apologise.”

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After reopening in July, Bridge Bar reduced its capacity to 30-40 per cent of what it was previously, requiring all customers to wear masks on entry.

Tables separated by Perspex screen were limited to six people, no free was standing allowed in the venue and staff also wore masks.

The business will remain closed while Tier 2 restrictions apply to London, as Mr Robinson feels it will be impossible to prevent household mixing.

Under the rules, people cannot meet with anyone they do not live with indoors, unless they are part of a support bubble.

The rule of six applies for socialising outside, and pubs, bars and restaurants have a 10pm curfew.

The police have been contacted for comment.