Restaurants welcome fines for businesses ignoring coronavirus rules
PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 07:35 23 September 2020
Norfolk restaurants have welcomed a move from government which will see businesses fined for not adhering to coronavirus rules.
The prime minister announced today that in retail, tourism and other leisure sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal requirements. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they break the rules.
So far no details have been revealed as to how much the fine will be or how the rules will be enforced.
But instead of fearing the fines restaurants in Norfolk have welcomed the news, saying those already prioritising safety have nothing to worry about.
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Richard Bainbridge, the owner and chef of Benedict’s in Norwich’s St Benedicts Street, said: “I welcome this news. We’ve always been really proactive when it comes to safety so I don’t feel like we have anything to worry about. The only change for us will be that previously we haven’t been wearing face masks when in the kitchen – purely because we spend time pretty much as a household and if we see people outside of those we see in the kitchen it’s a rarity. Having said that from today we’ll be wearing face masks in the kitchen.
“I have seen other businesses who aren’t as Covid-secure as us and I think this will make sure that everyone’s doing their bit.”
He was echoed by Stephen Hutton, managing director of Middletons, which has steak restaurants in Norwich and King’s Lynn, as well as five others across the East of England.
He said: “I think it’s a good thing. The government has given us some clear guidance that the doors need to be closed by 10pm so that sets an expectation of both businesses and the public.
“If businesses are being fined because the rules are unclear that could be a problem but if everyone knows what’s expected to keep the staff and public safe then no one has anything to fear.”
On the news that staff will now have to wear face masks he said: “That’s fine – currently our staff haven’t been because of the rules but we’ll start that too. I’d prefer if they wore visors because it allows for better customer interaction but we’ll have a look at the government guidance first.”
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