Covid restrictions enforcement warning for Darlington businesses

Covid restrictions enforcement warning for Darlington businesses
15 October 2020

The owners of businesses in Darlington that are subject to Government lockdown restrictions have been warned that enforcement action will be taken against those who don’t follow the rules.

A takeaway in the Northgate area of town has been served with a fixed penalty notice for £200 by Environmental Health officers from the council after CCTV operatives witnessed staff continuing to serve customers at the door after the Government mandated 10pm closing time.

The venue had previously been visited by officers and given advice about the rules, which apply to all food and drink establishments, after earlier reports that they were continuing to trade after hours.

Takeaways must close their doors to all customers after 10pm, although they can still offer home delivery and ‘drive-thru’ collections, where staff take the order to customers’ cars without contact.

Environmental health officers from the council have worked with takeaway owners, as well as the wider pub and restaurant trade in Darlington, to ensure they understand the rules imposed on them.

Stephen Todd, environmental health manager (commercial), said: “Businesses need to be aware that if they fail to comply with the legal situation and Government guidelines then officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action where appropriate to protect public health.”

Councillor Kevin Nicholson, cabinet member for health and housing, said: “Officers have worked hard to engage with business owners to make sure they know what’s expected of them during these restrictions and how to best go about their business.

“On the whole we’ve seen a good level of compliance from our hospitality businesses, but we will not hesitate to take action where necessary against those who flout the rules.”

Businesses looking for advice and support on the Covid-19 restrictions can email [email protected]

There is also a section with advice for businesses at www.darlington.gov.uk/coronavirus