Pubs, bars and restaurants across Sandwell have been warned that they could be closed down if they can’t help limit the spread of Covid-19.
Businesses have been reminded that indoor performances, such as live music or comedy, are not currently permitted and that karaoke, loud recorded music and DJs should be avoided.
Anyone found to be operating dangerously could be closed down under powers given to the council under the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Sandwell Council has also urged businesses to keep customers safe.
The council has yet to use powers to close premises operating dangerously – and it’s hoped business will continue to follow Government guidance on keeping customers and staff safe.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for safer communities Councillor Jo Hadley said: “All Sandwell businesses need to act responsibly to limit the spread of Covid-19 and make sure their customers are safe.
“For licensed premises, there are still restrictions in place in respect to overcrowding and indoor entertainment.
“Pubs, bars and restaurant must make sure they are complying with their licensing conditions as well as the new guidance brought in to allow licensed premises to reopen safely.
“We want Sandwell businesses to ensure they are aware of the rules and to stick to them. If we find premises that aren’t operating safely, we do have powers available to close them down in conjunction with the police.”
Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council Councillor, Maria Crompton, said: “We operate joined up working across licensing, environmental health, trading standards, police and public health, aiming for an approach that starts with education and encouragement to secure good infection control measures and compliance.
“However, if premises do not comply we will consider formal action.
“It is the responsibility of a business or an employer to ensure all reasonable measures are taken to limit the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Anyone in England with coronavirus symptoms can now get a test. If it’s positive you’ll be contacted by text, email or phone and asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website.
There you will be asked for personal information including:
- Name, date of birth and postcode
- Who you live with
- Places you visited recently
- Names and contact details of people you have been in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started
Close contacts are:
- people you spend 15 minutes or more with at a distance of less than 2m
- people you have direct contact with – such as sexual partners, household members or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversations at a distance of less than 1m
The contact must have taken place between two days before and up to seven days after symptoms appeared.
No-one contacted as a result of you testing positive for coronavirus will be told your identity.
A parent or guardian will need to give permission for a call with under-18s to continue.
The aim is for the scheme to eventually feature phonelines manned by contact tracers, a website, a smartphone app and a local response team on standby.
The contact tracing service and website were launched in England on 28 May.
The app is still being trialled on the Isle of Wight and hasn’t been released more widely, although business minister Nadhim Zahawi suggested it would be in place by the end of June.
“To ascertain whether all reasonable measures have been taken, any guidance issued by the government will be considered in determining compliance with Health & Safety legislation.”
Police also issued a 48-hour closure notice on the Holly Bush pub in Cradley Heath over the weekend following complaints of loud music.
All Sandwell pubs and restaurants are being urged to:
• Record all customers’ details – so they can be contacted in case of an outbreak
• Ensure customers only socialise in groups of up to two households (including support bubbles) indoors and outdoors, or up to six people from different households when outdoors
• Encourage regular handwashing and good hygiene
• Notify the council’s public health team if two or more staff test positive for Covid-19.