Businesses in East Suffolk are being urged to adhere to Government coronavirus restrictions after the owner of a tattoo studio was fined £1,000 for failing to close her business, risking the safety of her staff and customers.
Under the current national restrictions which are expected to remain in place until 2 December, tattoo parlours and piercing services must be closed.
Following concerns raised by members of the public and working in partnership with Suffolk Police, East Suffolk Council’s Environmental Health officers visited Art Eternal Tattoo Studio in Pakefield and determined that the business was open and tattooing customers when it should have been closed.
Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, all tattoo studios and certain other businesses are required to close to reduce interaction and slow the spread of Covid-19.
As a result of breaching these regulations, Christine McLean, owner of Art Eternal Tattoo Studio, has been served with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £1,000 and a Prohibition Notice.
The Prohibition Notice imposes certain restrictions to protect against the risk to public health arising from coronavirus, which in the case of tattoo and piercing parlours is the requirement to close premises and businesses. In the eventuality of the owner remaining open and tattooing or piercing customers, she will be guilty of a further offence, which is punishable upon summary conviction or by a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Cllr Mary Rudd, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Community Health said: “We understand that businesses want to remain open however the current restrictions are in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect the most vulnerable members of our community. The restrictions clearly show which businesses must close and financial support is available for those businesses affected. These are difficult times for everyone, but we must continue to stick to the rules to help keep people safe.”
Enforcement action was also taken by Suffolk Police as customers within the premises were not wearing face coverings. By law, face coverings must be worn within certain indoor settings, including tattoo and piercing parlours.
Sgt Steve Wright said: “This action is a great example of partnership working. We’d re-iterate what we have said previously - people must comply to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved. We will engage with people sensibly, proportionately, fairly, and using the well-established 4Es approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging, enforcing. Any enforcement action has always been a last resort, but we will take it if deemed necessary.”
Details of which businesses must be closed until 2 December can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england
The Local Restrictions Support Grant is available to businesses that have been required to close in line with new national restrictions which came into force on 5 November. These include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. Full details, and an application form, can be found at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding