Leisure businesses should be closed, says council
PUBLISHED: 17:35 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:36 24 March 2020
North Somerset Council is promising to take action under new powers where businesses fail to comply with government advice.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked leisure businesses and venues across the UK to close from Saturday.
Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs, cafés including workplace canteens and bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs are required not to sell food or drink for consuming on the premises across North Somerset.
Cllr Mike Solomon, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “The government confirmed on Sunday that the council’s licensing, environmental health and trading standards officers, with police support if appropriate, will now be able to issue prohibition notices challenging unsafe behaviours where businesses do not follow these restrictions.
“Businesses who fail to comply can receive potentially unlimited fines and non-compliance can also lead to the loss of alcohol licenses.
“It is not acceptable for anybody to ignore this and we will not hesitate to act against non-compliance in the interests of public safety.”
Takeaway and delivery facilities can remain open and operational.
This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.
Planning regulations will be changed to enable restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.
The authority’s deputy leader and executive member for regulatory services and public health, Cllr Mike Bell, added: “We recognise the pressure the emergency Covid-19 restrictions place on businesses and would encourage the community to look at the package of support that has been made available by the government.
“Licensing officers have been out this week ensuring the rules are being followed and I’m pleased to report that no breaches have been found.
“Thank you to all the businesses who are behaving responsibly and I’d urge all local leisure businesses to follow suit.
“We must follow the medical advice and businesses do need to follow the restrictions to help us protect the NHS and save lives.”