Businesses closed for breaching covid safety rules

Published Tuesday 18 August 2020 at 13:28

Two premises in Blackburn have been closed down by the Council’s Public Protection team after breaching Covid-19 restrictions.

Waheed’s Buffet and Banqueting Hall in Randall Street and Roberto’s Bar and Bistro in Richmond Terrace were shut down on Monday, August 17th.

Using the new Health Protection powers to close down businesses and events which are clearly breaching Covid-19 restrictions is an important part of the Council’s efforts to prevent a full local lockdown, where every business would suffer.  

The Council will continue to act when advice and guidance is persistently not followed or ignored. This is the fairest and most effective way we can help control the spread of the virus and keep our borough safe, secure and open.

The closures are in place for one month but will be reviewed every seven days. If the premises can show they are covid safe and can follow the guidelines fully they can be re-opened. The venues can appeal to the Magistrates’ court if they wish.

In order to re-open, provisions need to be put in place to satisfy Public Health and public protection that the owners have control of the situation and won’t commit further breaches that could put many people’s health at risk.

Councils were given new powers in July to take action against premises that are not following the new restrictions, including warnings, prohibitions on numbers and opening hours and full closure. This is the first time they have been used.

Gary Johnston, service lead for Environmental Health and Public Protection, said:

This is an intervention to protect the health of the public and try and get our numbers down to avoid further lockdown measures.

Our aim now in Public Protection is to work with the businesses and to get them back up and running but with acceptable measures in place that protect everybody and comply with the restrictions.”

Lancashire Police Supt Andrea Barrow said:

We understand that times are currently difficult for businesses across the borough and we know that the majority are complying with the coronavirus guidelines.

We will continue to engage with people and explain the rules but we do want to be really clear that we will enforce them where we need to, especially around repeat offenders, significant gatherings and people who deliberately flout the regulations and put others at risk.”

Councillor Phil Riley, Deputy leader of the Council, said:

These closures are very much a last resort and were carried out to protect the public. We want all our businesses to do as well as possible and we are giving them our full support, but the health and safety of people in the borough is the most important thing.

The restrictions put in place by the government must be followed if we want to avoid any further lockdown measures. Any breaches of the current restrictions will be taken very seriously.

The majority of businesses in our borough are complying with the regulations brought in to keep help people safe. It is disappointing when we have to take action against any local business but any flouting of the rules means we may have to have further restrictions on the town I am sure nobody wants. There are businesses that have had to remain closed until our numbers come down and restrictions are lifted so is absolutely vital that everybody does the right thing.”




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