Three local businesses in Bournemouth and Poole have been served prohibition notices for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions during the national lockdown.
Owner of Happy Buddha shops in both Poole and Bournemouth had previously been issued with two fixed penalty noticed for breaches to the restrictions in place to ensure public and staff safety. However, after follow-up inspections the owner was found to be operating the shops fully and prohibition orders were served. The owner was instructed to put in place measures to safely operate with immediate effect and both businesses are now operating correctly. Businesses such as the Happy Buddha are allowed to sell goods that have been pre-ordered through a website or other remote communication and can be collected by the customer, provided they do not enter the premises.
The owner of Poole Hand Car Wash was issued with a prohibition notice with instruction to close with immediate effect for breaching regulations by remaining open.
Councillor May Haines, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “Since the start of lockdown, our officers have been visiting local businesses to provide advice and guidance on the current government rules, including who can safely remain open and the types of services they can continue to offer at this time.
“We appreciate that these are challenging times, however the government restrictions are in place and we must ensure that they are correctly followed to protect the safety of the public as well as staff. We will only take enforcement action as a last resort where advice and guidance have been ignored despite extensive engagement by our officers.
“I have to say that on the whole, the majority of businesses across Bournemouth and Poole are following the current government rules correctly and it is only fair to those that are acting responsibly that we take action where there are clear and persistent breaches.”
The council will continue to support, make visits and provide advice to local businesses. If local residents have concerns about a business not operating correctly, they can report to the Council: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/safetymeasures
Notes to editor:
For more information about the government restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Environmental Health Officers and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and venues that breach restrictions will potentially be subject to prohibition notices, and a person who carries on a business in contravention of the Regulations may be issued with a fixed penalty (fine). Prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the regulations including requiring that an activity ceases. It is also an offence, without reasonable excuse, to fail to comply with a prohibition notice. If prohibition notices are not complied with, or a fixed penalty notice not paid, business proprietors may also be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.
Businesses can be fined by local authorities or the police if they fail to fulfil the obligations placed on them in law, fines will be issued:
£1,000 for the first offence
£2,000 for the second offence
£4,000 for the third offence and then £10,000 for the fourth and all subsequent offences
There is the provision however for 50% reduction to the fine if paid within 14 days.