Businesses must reopen in a 'Covid-secure’ manner, says Shropshire Council
Businesses in Shropshire that are set to reopen from Saturday are being reminded that it must be done in a ‘Covid-secure’ manner.
Shropshire Council has welcomed the most recent easements that will lead to the reopening of hospitality businesses, holiday accommodation, leisure facilities and tourist attractions, as well as hairdressers and barbers.
However, the council’s trading standards and licensing team say it’s vital that businesses do so in line with the latest Government guidance and restrictions to protect the health and safety of staff and the public.
Meanwhile businesses not yet permitted to open are reminded that they must remain closed.
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Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager, said: “We do understand that these are extremely challenging times and we want to reassure businesses that we will provide the support they need. We also appreciate that the majority of businesses are committed to compliance and only want the best for their customers.
“We have highly knowledgeable staff, with the expertise and skills to advise and support businesses with any concerns they may have, and I would urge business owners to get in touch if you need any help.
“I specifically want to ask all our licensed hospitality businesses to ensure that not only do they operate in a Covid-secure way, but that they also pay significant attention to their legal responsibility to promote the four licensing objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.
“Since the Government introduced the legislation that enforced the closure of certain premises, council officers have adopted a proportionate and pragmatic approach to enforcement and this will continue.
“Nevertheless, licensees do need to be aware that significant failures to comply with their legal obligations under the Licensing Act may lead to formal enforcement action, including prosecution and licence review; this may ultimately lead to a business losing its licence.
"This is on top of the significant risk that the transmission rate of the coronavirus will increase, economic recovery will be undermined, and this will be detrimental to all.
“I want to thank all businesses for their efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and ask that they continue to take their responsibilities seriously.”
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said the protection of the public's health and safety was the number one priority.
He added: “I know that the vast majority of people who have waited a long time to return to the social environment of our wonderful Shropshire pubs and restaurants will do so responsibly, but we know some people will drink to excess and become vulnerable to harm or indeed cause harm to others.
"Anti-social and criminal behaviour that impacts on the safety of our communities is simply not acceptable and I urge people to act responsibly.
“The key advice is to know your limits, plan your day and decide in advance how you will get home safely.
“It is extremely important that we all continue to follow the Government’s guidance.
“Please remember – stay alert, control the virus and save lives.”