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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - South Somerset District Council issues first prohibition notice since Government ordered business closures

| District

South Somerset District Council has had to issue its first prohibition notice to a business after the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

On March 23, the Government ordered a number of businesses to close including pubs and cafes, barbers, beauty salons, hotels and caravan parks, alongside a number of retail premises with a few exceptions.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with Government guidance. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

South Somerset District Council, acting on information from local police, discovered a local business was still open in breach of the Government guidance.

A spokesman for the district council said: “We felt it was appropriate to serve a prohibition notice as a proportionate enforcement response.

“If prohibition notices are not followed, you may also be taken to court with magistrates able to impose potentially unlimited fines.

“Businesses and venues as specified by the Government must close as opening may involve prolonged close social contact which increases the chance of infection spreading.

“Please help us to keep people safe and protect the NHS.”

Where an owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business (or a person responsible for other premises) contravenes the Regulations, that person commits an offence.

In England, Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers have been asked to monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate. Businesses and venues that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and/or fixed penalties.

With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to require compliance with the Regulations including requiring that an activity ceases.

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