Businesses which do not follow new enforced restrictions to be served prohibition notices

Date published: 23 March 2020

Prohibition notices will be served by Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers to businesses which have not been following new enforced restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Businesses including pubs, cinemas, theatres and casinos were told to close from 21 March, as part of government drive to reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance, and businesses who fail to comply can also receive fines. Continued non-compliance could then lead to the loss of alcohol licenses.

Under the Business Closure regulations introduced on March 21, officers will have powers to prosecute for breach of regulations.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force at 2pm on 21 March 2020. The following businesses are now required not to sell food or drink for consuming on the premises:

  • Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs.
  • Cafés, including workplace canteens, but not including—
    • cafés or canteens at a hospital, care home or school
    • prison and military canteens
    • services providing food or drink to the homeless
  • Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.

The following businesses must remain closed:

  • Pubs
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Nightclubs
  • Bingo halls and concert halls
  • Museums and galleries
  • Casinos and betting shops
  • Spas and massage parlours
  • Indoor skating rinks
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres

The closure lasts until a direction is given by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is required to keep the need for these restrictions under review every 28 days.

Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick said: “We recognise the pressure the emergency COVID-19 restrictions place on small businesses, which is why the government has announced an unprecedented package of support to help businesses and workers.

“But we must follow the medical advice. That means staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

“So far we have seen this crisis bring out the best in us, but some people are risking the safety of others by failing to act on medical advice. People must do this immediately to save people’s lives.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma MP said: “I want to urge all businesses to look carefully at the package of measures we have announced to help them through this difficult time and allow them to comply with new regulations.”

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