Wokingham Borough Council’s Public Protection Service issued its first fixed penalty notice to a borough business for breaking the Covid-19 10pm closing rule. A local business has received a £1,000 fixed penalty, following an earlier prohibition which was not complied with.
Protecting our residents
Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services said: “We aren’t issuing fines to make money or to target any particular business. The regulations are in place as part of a range of measures to protect our residents from the spread of Covid-19.
“The law requires that all walk up customers to hospitality businesses have to leave the premise by 10pm. After 10pm, businesses can make deliveries to homes, workplaces etc. or to customers who remain in their vehicles having pre-ordered.
“The vast majority of businesses have followed the rules and are working hard to keep within the regulations and still offer customers a great service. Therefore, a business not doing so, especially when they have already been warned, is not acceptable because it creates the perfect breeding ground for the virus to spread as large numbers of people will gather there because it’s the only place open. It is in the interest of the entire community to drive down the increase in cases, and businesses must play their part by following government guidelines, encouraging social distancing and operating in a Covid-safe manner."
In it together
“We’re all in this together. We all need to follow the rules – every single one of us, businesses and residents alike. And when people don’t follow the rules voluntarily, it’s our job to enforce the rules. That’s what happened here – we gave them a prohibition first, but when they ignored that we issued a £1,000 fixed penalty, as is set out in the law. And, if they do it again, the fine will go up.”
The council has issued two other warning prohibitions to businesses in Wokingham borough.
Working in partnership
The council will continue to work in partnership with colleagues from Thames Valley Police to ensure the law is complied with. Likewise if any business in the borough would like advice on the law or how to comply with it, our Public Protection Service is very happy to provide that advice.
For more information or to report a concern, visit www.publicprotectionpartnership.org.uk.
NOTE: Any business receiving a fixed penalty of this nature has a right of appeal.