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Council support for businesses to be Covid-safe

Published on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

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OVER 1,200 visits have been carried out by council officials over the last two months to ensure that Leicester businesses are following coronavirus safety rules. 

Leicester City Council enforcement officers have inspected over 920 local businesses since the local lockdown was introduced in Leicester. Most of the businesses visited (over 770) were in the north-east of the city where surges in coronavirus cases had been identified. 

This included 52 businesses regulated by the Health and Safety Executive – mainly factories and food manufacturers – where the city council carried out public health visits on its behalf. 

In most cases, the inspections found good compliance, with 244 businesses requiring a follow-up visit to provide extra advice and ensure guidance was being followed. No causes for formal action were found, and no prohibition notices issued. 

Alongside this, the council has received over 750 reports or queries from members of the public concerned about businesses breaching coronavirus regulations. The vast majority of these queries were resolved over the phone, but in nine cases prohibition notices were served on businesses that should not have yet reopened. These included a beauty salon, vape shop and clothing store. 

The city council’s licensing team has also carried out 56 inspections, finding good compliance in all but one case. This was rectified by providing posters and floor vinyls to remind people of the need for social distancing. No business closures were required. 

Trading standards officers have carried out 52 visits to beauty businesses since they were allowed to reopen from mid-August. Two warning notices were issued to businesses that were carrying out treatments that were still subject to restrictions. Government advice remains that no facial treatments should be carried out. 

Visits were also made to 28 local hotels by officers from the city and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. Of these, twelve were found to be closed and the remaining 16 demonstrated good compliance. 

The city council has also sent out up to date information about the latest Government guidance to thousands of local businesses to help ensure they have the advice they need to reopen and operate safely. 

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, who is responsible for regulatory services, said: “Our regulatory services team has been working incredibly hard to help businesses reopen safely, and ensure that they are operating within guidelines during these challenging weeks. 

“It is very reassuring that most businesses are found to be operating with good compliance, and where follow-up visits and advice are needed, this is being acted on promptly and the necessary steps are being taken to address any problems. 

“It is important that we continue to work closely with local businesses to ensure that they continue to operate in a way that helps protect customers and follows the very latest public health advice.” 

Leicester City Council is responsible for monitoring safety in shops, restaurants and cafes, hotels, beauty salons, tattoo parlours and hairdressers. It does not have powers to monitor working conditions in factories. 

Anyone with concerns about a business operating unsafely can email customer.services@leicester.gov.uk 

Businesses wanting advice on how to operate or reopen safely can email enterprising.leicester@leicester.gov.uk