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Covid-19 business restrictions enforced by Environmental Health team

| District

South Somerset District Council’s Environmental Health team are helping to enforce legislation brought in by the Government, which has meant that all food businesses must close their doors to customers following the Covid-19 outbreak, unless you meet specific criteria.

As the country adapts to strict new measures to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, 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.
  • Cafes, including workplace canteens, but not including:

- cafes 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.

All other non-essential businesses must now close.

Takeaway and delivery facilities may remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

Planning regulation will be changed to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. This will be clearly communicated by the government when in effect.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit. Any forthcoming changes to licensing for delivery and takeaway will be clearly communicated by the government.

To help enforce these strict new measures, Government has asked that Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers monitor compliance with these regulations, with Police support if appropriate.

Councillor Tony Lock, portfolio holder for protecting core services at South Somerset District Council, said: “these strict rules are in place to help prevent the spread of a deadly virus within our communities. It’s essential that businesses should follow the guidance and if you’re unsure, speak with a member of our Environmental Health team to find out whether you can continue to trade or not

“We understand it’s a worrying time for any business at the moment but we are doing all we can to act on decisions made by Government and to provide the support you need.”

What should I do if I think a business should be closed?

Report it to us by calling 01935 462462 or emailing us at food.safety@southsomerset.gov.uk.  We’ll take the details of the business and investigate whether the business is flouting the regulations set by Government. If you leave your contact details with us, we will endeavour to keep you informed after our investigation.

What happens if a business breaches the new regulations?

Businesses that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and potentially unlimited fines. As a further measure, and if needed, businesses that fail to comply could also face the loss of their alcohol license.

I’m a business owner and I’m not sure if I should be shut or not?

Government guidance is very clear – unless you provide a takeaway and/or a delivery service under the categories above, then your business should not be open. If you are really unsure, check the government guidance online or call us on 01935 462462 and ask to speak with an Environmental Health Specialist.

What business support are you providing to business through the Covid-19 pandemic?

We’ve provided a dedicated webpage on our website that gives advice for businesses, employers and employees in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has announced a range of measures designed to help businesses while the UK and countries around the world are affected by Coronavirus.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said that £330bn in loans - equivalent to 15% of GDP - will be available from next week to help businesses pay for supplies, rent and salaries.

Other measures to be put in place include extended business rates relief and a three-month mortgage holiday for people in financial difficulty as a result of the virus.

We are awaiting confirmed details of all these measures and will provide detailed advice when it is available.

Visit our webpage online for more details at https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus-advice-for-businesses-employers-and-employees/.

 

KEY INFORMATION:

Please visit the Government’s website for the latest information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) here - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

If you need guidance from the NHS, visit https://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If you are a business in need of support, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses 

We will be updating our information on Coronavirus here - https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/your-council/

Stay at home

Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work

Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people

Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus.

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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