Businesses in East Suffolk are being reminded that they must adhere to the national restrictions set out by the Government in response to Covid-19 after the owner of a restaurant was fined £1,000 for failing to close his business, risking the safety of staff and customers.
Under the current national restrictions which are expected to remain in place until mid-February at the earliest, restaurants must be closed for consumption of food on the premises but can sell food and non-alcoholic drinks on a takeaway and/or delivery basis.
Following concerns raised by members of the public, officers from Suffolk Police visited Spice of Balti restaurant in Bungay and found customers sitting around a table eating takeaway food and at the bar drinking.
Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI. 2020: No. 1374), all restaurants and other businesses are required to reduce interaction to help slow the spread of Covid-19.
As a result of breaching these regulations, Mr Shams Uddin, owner of Spice of Balti, has been served with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £1,000.
Cllr Mary Rudd, East Suffolk's cabinet member for Community Health said: “We understand that businesses want to remain fully open however the restrictions are in place for a reason and with the challenges of the new variants which are currently in circulation and spreading rapidly, it has never been more important that we all follow the rules to help defeat this virus. 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.”
Inspector Claire Simons from the Neighbourhood Partnership Team in Lowestoft said: “This was a good example of partnership working between the Constabulary and East Suffolk Council. The venue in question was operating in such a way as to cause the risk of the spread of a deadly disease to their customers and potentially others in the wider community. Suffolk Constabulary are addressing the wider issues with the licence holder who has agreed to alter the conditions on his premises licence to enable the business to be compliant moving forward."
Details of which businesses must be closed during the current national Covid-19 restrictions can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england
Business grants are available to businesses that have been required to close in line with new national restrictions which came into force on 5 January. Full details, and an application form, can be found at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/business/covid-19-business-grant-funding/