Businesses operating against Government coronavirus instructions told to close.
Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Police officers are out and about in the district checking that businesses are keeping to the rules announced by the Prime Minister regarding trading.
Powers to close premises
Officers have visited some businesses and educated them on the restrictions that have been imposed.
The Public Health ( Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 provides councils and Police with powers to close premises and to prosecute or issue Fixed Penalty Notices which for repeat offenders can reach a maximum of £960. Prosecution brings an unlimited fine.
The Police have additional powers for dispersal of more than 2 people.
Guidance for businesses
Businesses are allowed to trade for the supply of takeaway food only. Customers must not consume the food on the premises and must maintain social distancing at all times.
Gyms, leisure centres, spas and massage premises must also remain closed and any businesses not following these rules can be closed.
In addition to surveying the district officers are also scanning social media platforms looking for ‘pop up’ takeaway businesses operating from unregistered and unregulated domestic premises.
These premises may appear to be offering a public service but may also be posing a further public health risk to those consuming the food they produce. Officers will differentiate between those being neighbourly to vulnerable individuals and those seeking to profiteer from this public health emergency.
Licenced premises may only sell alcohol for ‘off sales’, i.e. to be consumed off the premises and supplied in sealed containers, bottles, cans, etc, if their existing licence permits that trade. Businesses which only have licences for alcohol to be consumed on the premises cannot undertake ‘off sales’.
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