Slough Borough Council is warning businesses to make sure they stick to covid rules after issuing nine enforcement notices in just four days.
After weeks of offering advice, information and education to the borough’s retailers and food businesses, the council stepped up enforcement action this week on a number of takeaways flouting the regulations.
The action included:
- two prohibition notices served on takeaways caught by CCTV serving food to customers after the 11pm curfew
- seven coronavirus improvement notices served on takeaways who, after warnings, were caught by covid officers still not displaying signs requesting customers to wear a face covering or having any alternative reminders in place
Prohibition notices require businesses to immediately stop the breach of the regulations or be hit with a £200 fixed penalty notice.
The coronavirus improvement notices require the business to comply with the regulations within 48 hours or risk receiving a £2,000 fixed penalty notice.
Any business failing to pay a resulting fine may be prosecuted.
The council has also issued 10 formal requests for information from businesses who have failed to provide a covid risk assessment. If businesses do not provide a valid risk assessment within seven days they will be issued with an improvement notice.
Councillor Pavitar K Mann, lead member for regulation, said: “Since lockdown we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of complaints on business failing to comply with the rules – even ones as simple as displaying a sign or poster informing people of the need to wear a face covering inside the shop.
“These notices have been served after people have continually ignored advice and warnings and should be a sign to other businesses that we have advised and warned enough; comply with the rules or we will not hesitate to issue notices and fines.
“Everyone in Slough needs to be doing their bit to help prevent the spread of covid, protect residents and the community and help protect the NHS and all the key workers of Slough who are providing such vital services.
“Everyone needs to be doing their bit. And that includes the takeaways.”
Since starting work in Slough, the covid officers have made more than 1,260 inspections of business premises including takeaways and are following up all complaints made by the public.
As well as working closely with the police the CCTV control centre is also monitoring hotspot areas 24 hours a day.
The covid case rate in Slough is currently 1101.4 per 100,000 of the population. There are currently 97 Slough residents in hospital because of covid, with an average age of just 63. Tragically in the week ending 1 January (the latest data), 12 Slough residents died from covid.