This week fifteen Coronavirus Improvement Notices have been issued to businesses across Lambeth for breaching of Face Covering Regulations, with a further 23 under consideration. They have been issued using new powers introduced by the Government on December 2.
The notices require the business owner to make specific improvements within 24-hours, such as displaying signage for customers that masks must be worn and ensuring that staff are using face coverings. Failure to comply can result in the business being fined.
The latest action supports the council’s work to support businesses comply with Covid-19 restrictions. Since October 5 council officers have conducted 1,311 Covid-19 Compliance visits to businesses in the borough, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and supermarkets.
In total to Monday this week 236 warning letters have been issued for breaching the restrictions – more than half were related to face mask breaches found by council officers. In addition to the Improvement Notice seven fines have been issued, one prohibition notice issued and one closure order was put in place for consistent refusal to obey the law.
The closure order was taken against Gracie Barra Oval School in Bolton Crescent, Oval initially under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. This 24 hour Closure Notice was followed up with court action that saw the gym closed by law for two-weeks. The order remained in place until Friday, December 4.
This was followed up with a Coronavirus Immediate Restriction Notice Subsequent after further breaches, before council monitoring on December 9 found that Gracie Barra Oval School was complying the Covid-19 restrictions as required.
Cllr Jacqui Dyer, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, said: “We know this is hard for businesses, hard for communities and hard for individuals, but we must all work together on this and we must all follow the laws but in place to ease pressure on the NHS and to save lives by reducing the infection rate. We are helping businesses to make sure they are compliant, but in instances where they point blank refuse, we will be forced to act.”