Torbay Council has served fixed penalty notices on four local hospitality premises for failing to adhere to the COVID-19 safety legislation.
Fines of up to £1000 are issued to those failing to follow the rules that are there to protect people from potentially fatal infection. Further fines are being considered from last weekend’s visits by the council, where there was little or no regard to the rules. Other premises have been visited with further support and advice given, and there are further advice visits planned, to help businesses follow the rules and operate in a safe way.
In Tier 2 – which Torbay currently falls into – pubs and bars must close unless they are operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial table meals and venues must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm.
An easy to follow guide to infection control for pubs, cafes, and restaurants in Tier 2, with helpful guidance on test and trace, signage, distancing etc. is available on the Council’s website here: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/coronavirus/advice-and-support-for-businesses/food-drink/
The national Tier system is designed to prevent a return to growing infections and is due for review on 16 December. Areas that show a reduction in the spread of the virus could be placed in Tier 1, which has less restrictions.
Council Leader Steve Darling said: “Torbay Council will not tolerate premises putting their customers and staff at risk by not following the very clear rules on infection control for COVID-19.
“Our Environmental Health teams are out in force visiting premises across the Bay and are issuing fixed penalty notices of £1000 to all who fail to comply.
“Four premises have been fined; one of which has had its licence subsequently suspended following repeated offences; and our enforcement team tell me there may be more this week.
“It’s a last resort for the Council to fine business; as our hospitality trade is the backbone of our economy; but we will not compromise on safety.”
Deputy Council Leader, Darren Cowell said: “We recognise the severe pressures that our hospitality businesses are facing, and we continue to lobby for better support the sector.
“However we will strongly enforce the strict rules on safety to protect the public. We call on all businesses in the Bay to follow our infection control guide carefully so that we can bring down the spread of the virus and look forward to restrictions easing.”
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