Search

Restaurants welcome fines for businesses ignoring coronavirus rules

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 07:35 23 September 2020

Chef Richard Bainbridge has said he isn't concerned about the potential virus fines on businesses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chef Richard Bainbridge has said he isn't concerned about the potential virus fines on businesses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Norfolk restaurants have welcomed a move from government which will see businesses fined for not adhering to coronavirus rules.

Stephen Hutton, managing director of Middletons (inset) said businesses complying with regulation have nothing to fear. Picture: ArchantStephen Hutton, managing director of Middletons (inset) said businesses complying with regulation have nothing to fear. Picture: Archant

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.

MORE: ‘We’ll give you a freshers week’: Bar’s survival bid as curfew confirmed



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.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press

Share this article on LinkedIn