In partnership with West Yorkshire Police we are taking action to stop businesses opening illegally
Over the last two weeks, the Government announced that all pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes and shops selling non-essential items should close to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
How will we do this?
Our Environmental Health team will take the lead on enforcing the current and any future legislation in relation to premises which should remain closed – with the support of the police where necessary.
Whilst most businesses are complying with the requirement, some may continue to put lives at risk.
Where necessary our Environmental Health department, the Police, Licensing and Trading Standards will work together to enforce these closures.
What should I do if I become aware of a premise operating?
Members of the public who become aware of any premises operating outside of these restrictions are encouraged to contact us in the first instance. Anyone who has information about businesses operating illegally please contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
When should I contact the police?
The police are receiving an unprecedented number of calls – so they are asking the public to consider carefully before reporting matters to them. Members of the public should only contact the Police if there is a large gathering and they do not feel that it can wait until the next day when we will be able to investigate. It is essential that we all work together and a use common sense approach at this time.
However, where there is a clear risk to public safety, people should contact the Police as usual by calling 101.
Can food businesses and licensed premises still operate?
For food businesses and licensed premises who have been required to close but who wish to operate as a takeaway, we can help you to do this safely and in accordance with the law. We are asking businesses to let them know if they are planning to operate in this way and we want to remind businesses that they still need an Off licence if they want to offer alcohol on their takeaway menu.
How are the Police dealing with public gatherings?
The Police also have new powers to deal with public gatherings of more than two persons or unnecessary travel. The Police are monitoring the situation and dealing with situations – again please think carefully before reporting matters to the Police.
Cllr Rob Walker Cabinet Member for Environment said:
“Our officers are working with the Police and local businesses to make sure they are following Government guidance on social distancing, operating within the law.
The list of businesses that have to close, is changing on a regular basis, and this means that it is really important that people have somewhere to go to share their concerns and get clarity on whether something is illegal.
We realise that this is a difficult time for everyone, and most, if not all businesses will want to comply with the new rules. If anyone has any questions I would encourage them to email the team who will be happy to offer advice and guidance.”
Further advice on what premises can be open at this time is available online from central government.
The Government have also announced a range of financial help for businesses you can find out more about these on our website.