Businesses in East Suffolk are reminded that they must continue to adhere to the guidance set out by the Government after the owner of a bar was issued with a £1,000 fixed penalty for breaching Covid-19 restrictions.
As part of the Government’s four-step roadmap, businesses in the hospitality sector were able to reopen on 12 April under the current restrictions, which are expected to remain in place until 17 May at the earliest.
Under these restrictions, businesses in the hospitality sector can serve customers on the premises if seated and outdoors only. Marquees, shelters and other structures are allowed under certain conditions. To be considered outdoors, all structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of their wall areas open at all times while serving customers.
After concerns were raised by members of the public, an officer from East Suffolk Council’s Food and Safety team visited A Listers in Woodbridge last week and found that the bar was serving customers in a marquee which did not have the required wall areas open. The owner was advised that he needed to either stop using the marquee or open up at least 50% of the wall areas to meet the legal requirements and the government’s guidance.
However, when the officer returned this week, she found that the marquee was still not correctly set up but customers were still being served in it. As a result, the owner was served with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £1,000 for breaching Covid-19 regulations.
Mark Sims, East Suffolk Council’s Food and Safety Manager, said: “All businesses have a legal duty to keep their workers and others safe from harm and this includes complying with the Covid-19 rules for their type of premises.”.
“For hospitality businesses, the rules on using marquee structures as an outdoor space are very clear. It is important that businesses get it right because outdoor settings are known to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus, making it less risky than indoor settings.
“It’s clear that responsible businesses are working hard to keep people safe and this will also help us all keep on course with the government’s roadmap for reopening.”
East Suffolk Council has been supporting businesses throughout the pandemic and continues to help local businesses understand what’s expected of them and the steps they need to take to ensure they are Covid-19- safe, to protect their staff, customers, visitors and their business.
For further information on how to keep your business Covid safe, please read the Government guidance at www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
For more information on the support available to businesses, please go to https://eastsuffolkmeansbusiness.co.uk/business-support/resources/covid-19/