A Basingstoke bar has defended its social distancing policies after a photograph showed a large number of customers congregating together. 

The photo shows at least 20 men crammed together outside the front of Plush Lounge Bar on Saturday evening.

An onlooker who took the photograph at around 8pm said they were shocked by the "awful attempt at social distancing".

A spokesman for Plush said the group of men were visiting the bar together to watch the football.

The spokesman said they had a number of measures in place to ensure customers were safe. 

He said: "We have health and safety measures and social distancing measures in place. The photo you have kindly sent us is from a large group of guys who came in together for the football on Saturday.

"We have a table booking procedure in place and people can still order from the bar but not stay at the bar they have to be at a table. On entry everyone is asked to use hand sanitiser and have there temperature checked on the way in."

The spokesman pointed out that Plush has the capacity for 640 customers but had limited their current capacity to 150.

They continued: "We also have hand sanitiser units around the bar and we have installed a lot more tables so that everyone that enters has a table to either sit at or stand around, we are also taking everyone’s details for track and trace either at the bar or via our app."

The spokesman added that they are only permitting music to be played at low level, in compliance with government guidelines.

"The music is also only played at low level to ensure that no one has to shout at each other to hear themselves speak," he said.

"Also our cleaning schedule has increased from every 15 mins to constant cleaning throughout the night," he added.

Ahead of Plush's reopening on July 31, the entire bar was sprayed with a chemical to prevent bacteria.