Nearly a fifth of Havering businesses visited by council uncompliant with Covid-19 rules

Cllr Viddy Persaud. Picture: David Mirzoeff

Cllr Viddy Persaud. Picture: David Mirzoeff - Credit: Archant

Almost a fifth of businesses visited by Havering Council have not been complying with Covid-19 rules.

The council has carried out around 1,640 face-to-face visits to businesses in the borough to ensure they have the correct measures in place to keep staff and customers safe.

These checks include making sure appropriate cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures are in place and that measures have been taken to maintain two metre social distancing where possible.

But a council spokesperson revealed 18 per cent of businesses visited had not been compliant, with follow-up visits arranged for those that have not met the grade.

Council officers have also been ensuring that pubs, bars and restaurants are keeping to the 10pm curfew that has been introduced. Councillor Viddy Persaud, cabinet member for public protection and safety, said: “We need to make sure our residents are kept safe when using local businesses such as bars, restaurants and barbers.

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“We take this extremely seriously which is why our enforcement officers are working very hard, taking action where needed, to deal with any breach of Covid-19 rules. They are also giving support to businesses when needed.”

The council said it has been making visits and carrying out weekend patrols in town centres throughout the pandemic, with a focus on checking and supporting “high-risk” businesses such as barbers and hairdressers.

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Cllr Persaud added: “Everyone needs to do their bit to remain safe. This includes our businesses and we are pleased to see many of them are sticking to these rules.

“We need to make sure we do not let our guard down especially as the rate of infection is increasing across London and Essex.

“We encourage anyone who finds a business who is not doing their bit to report it to us and we will not hesitate in taking action.”

Last week, we revealed that 80pc of Havering businesses “spot-checked” by the national Health and Safety Executive between June and August were only questioned by telephone.

The council said people can report a Covid-19 related concern over a business by calling 01708 432777.

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