We will close Bedford businesses if they don't follow the rules over coronavirus, warns mayor
Council hoping town can avoid a local lockdown
The council is warning pubs, restaurants and other businesses to support measures to control the spread of coronavirus, or enforcement action will be carried out against them.
Businesses must ensure that when they are open, they have the appropriate measures in place to keep their customers and the wider population safe - or they will be shut down.
According to Bedford Borough Council, these measures should include:
*Ensuring extra cleaning is taking place, particularly high contact areas and items, and in between visitors
*Providing hand sanitiser at key locations, such as entrances and exits
*Having measures that make it easy for groups to be socially distanced whilst in their premises such as ensuring everyone is seated and providing table service
*The layout of seating and tables must ensure that social distancing is maintained between groups
*Collecting visitor and customer information such as the name, contact phone number, date and time of their visit with records being kept for 21 days to support the track and trace process. This data collection will be a mandatory requirement from September 18.
Businesses must also not provide or participate in any activities that may increase the risk of transmission such as loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or dancing.
The council will be contacting businesses where reports are received of inappropriate business practices, and ultimately has the power to close businesses where there is evidence there is a threat to public health.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “We know that the majority of businesses and customers locally are playing by the rules and doing their part to keep themselves and our communities safe.
“But, where this isn’t happening, the council will take action to ensure that businesses are aware of what they need to do, and ultimately if we have to, we will close businesses down until they can show that they will operate in a way that is COVID-secure.
“If you visit a pub or restaurant that isn’t acting as they should - leave, go and support one of the many local businesses that is COVID-secure, and please let us know via [email protected] so we can investigate.
"The onus is on both businesses and their customers to behave responsibly, follow the rules, help us to avoid a local lockdown, and ultimately keep people safe.”