Businesses operating illegally told to close

Published Monday, 30th March 2020

Sign in store window stating closed

In a joint letter issued from the council and police, local businesses operating against Government instruction have been told to close.

Those open legitimately such as takeaways and food outlets offering delivery have also been told to ensure strict social distancing measures are in place.

The letter titled ‘urgent need for closure of premises and to support the need for social distancing when people are queuing’ was sent yesterday from the council’s chief executive Alison Griffin, director of public health Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public protection Carl Robinson, and Simon Anslow, Chief Superintendent of Essex Police.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 make it an offence for certain types of business premises to be open. A business or venue operating in contravention of these measures will be committing an offence. Businesses and venues that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices and fixed penalty notices and if they continue to trade will be forced to close down. The council and police are out conducting checks and patrols to ensure compliance.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for enterprise, says: “The closures have rightly been put in place due to the required social distancing measures to protect the health, wellbeing and lives of our residents as we try to reduce the speed of the spread and impact of coronavirus and the rise in mortality.

“This is a national crisis and closures allow us all to protect ourselves, our families, friends and our customers and to support our NHS.

Whilst the majority of businesses have taken notice and have been responsible in closing premises, it has been apparent that the Government’s direction has not been applied across all businesses.

“Some businesses that are able to remain open are also not properly considering the need for social distancing measures. These measures are in place for a reason and the ability for us to socially distance ourselves will have significant impact. However, it needs to happen immediately, and we need to ensure that people standing in queues and outside shops that are exempted from closure are actively asking their customers to keep 2 metres apart.”

Business Closure Types:

The Secretary of State has ordered that the following category of businesses must close.

  1. Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs. (an exception is given for restaurants and pubs to provide food for takeaway and delivery only)

  2. Cafes, including workplace canteens
  3. Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.
  4. Public houses.
  5. Cinemas.
  6. Theatres.
  7. Nightclubs.
  8. Bingo halls.
  9. Concert halls.
  10. Museums and galleries.
  11. Casinos.
  12. Betting shops.
  13. Spas.
  14. Massage parlours.
  15. Indoor skating rinks.
  16. Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres.
  17. Retail Premises including the following:
    1. Hair, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours
    2. Massage Parlours
    3. All retail, with some specified exceptions
    4. Outdoor and indoor markets
    5. Auction Houses
    6. Car showrooms
  1. Hotels, hostels, B&B’s, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use
  2. Caravan parks / sites for commercial use
  3. Arcades / Outdoor leisure centres