Coronavirus crisis: 'Keep your distance' as SKDC warns firms still open how to behave

  Posted: 25.03.20 at 13:49 by The Editor

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South Kesteven District Council has warned of a 'crackdown' against firms still open and are not obeying new government mandates.

The district council today has reminded businesses and their customers that new regulations governing food takeaways and deliveries came into force on Saturday to protect public health in the wake of recent measures announced by the Prime Minister to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

South Kesteven District Council’s Environmental Health team is working with Trading Standards to enforce the new regulations whilst also offering guidance to local food takeaway and delivery services, some of which have evolved as restaurants, pubs and cafes seek new ways of working.

SKDC says it is clear that whilst it will support and guide food and takeaway services that are allowed to remain open under the latest Government guidelines, it will act if those businesses do not adhere to the new regulations, which could result in prosecution and or fines.

South Kesteven District Council Leader, Coun Kelham Cooke, said: “We are absolutely committed to supporting our businesses as they adapt to this unprecedented public health crisis, but it is vital that we all work together in the best interests of protecting public health as well as supporting our local economy – it is the right and responsible thing to do.

“We are issuing guidance to our food and drink businesses to help them protect the health of their staff and of their customers as they change how they work. But we will crack down on businesses who do not operate within the new regulations.”

On Friday, the Government acted to stop bars, restaurants, cafes and workplace canteens from selling food or drink for consumption on the premises. Cafes or canteens in hospitals, care homes, and schools are exempt, along with prison and military canteens, and services providing food or drink to the homeless.

But as some bars, restaurants and cafes adapted to offer a takeaway or delivery service, this resulted in people congregating in groups either as they queued to get takeaway food or drink, or as they consumed their food or drink in outdoor seating areas ignoring social distancing guidelines.

Food delivery and takeaway services can remain open which means customers and delivery drivers can continue to enter the premises. But the businesses must ensure that:

People do not consume food or drinks on site whilst waiting for takeaway food

Outside seating is not used

There is a distance of two metres between customers and shop assistants

People enter the premises only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.

Any queues are managed to adhere to social distancing rules

They do not sell alcohol unless their existing premises licence allows off premises sales.

Anyone concerned that a business covered by the regulations remains open or needs further advice, should contact SKDC’s environmental health team at [email protected]

Restaurants, cafes and pubs in South Kesteven must notify the district council’s planning team if they plan to, or are already, providing takeaway food.

They should identify any buildings or land that will be used to provide the service over the next 12 months.

Notifications apply to hot or cold food prepared for collection or delivery for consumption off the premises and should be made by email to [email protected]

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