Rochford Council urges businesses to trade in line with government guidance

In order to enforce The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and help keep the community safe Rochford District Council’s Environmental Health team is working closely with Essex Police to ensure that only premises that are permitted to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic are trading.

Officers from the council are offering advice to businesses that can trade and how to do so safely, and when necessary requiring those that shouldn’t be trading to close.

So far, a number of premises including leisure facilities, public houses and retail shops have been found trading contrary to the Government’s requirements.

Thankfully all of these premises agreed to close without the need for formal action. The Council appreciates the cooperation it has been experiencing from the business in the district as we all try to do our part in keeping our communities safe and protect the NHS.

Robust enforcement powers have been introduced to enable local authorities, supported by the police, to take action to deal with non-compliance with directions to close. Other powers are to deal with other unacceptable trading practices.

Licensed premises which are found to be operating illegally may also have their licence reviewed.

However, some food and beverage premises are still able to trade by providing takeaway and delivery services and not allowing consumption of food or drink on site.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Cllr Simon Wootton said: “Local businesses have a vital role to play in keeping our residents and communities safe. As well as trading ethically and responsibly, all of us have a responsibility to support the vulnerable and take steps to ensure social distancing is applied and reinforced in public places.

“As a local authority, anyone putting our residents at risk we will use all the tools and resources at our disposal to enforce against such individuals or organisations.”

If you have any questions or want to know how we are working with businesses to keep the district safe and promote the Government’s messages to protect our NHS, please contact the Environmental Health team on 07814861937.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]