Six fines and four prohibition orders for businesses flouting lockdown rules

Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Several businesses in and around Yarmouth have had their wrists slapped for breaching Covid rules, new figures reveal.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has dished out six penalty notices and four prohibition orders since the first lockdown lifted in July.

This includes one licenced premises being hit with a prohibition order for opening when forbidden on July 8.

Between July 1 and September 30, the council said it received 110 queries and complaints specifically relating to licenced premises, some of which were from other businesses in the borough.

Niamh Payne and Lauren Randall, covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth, with the leader of the borough co

Niamh Payne and Lauren Randall, covid marshals in Great Yarmouth, with the leader of the borough council Carl Smith (middle) - Credit: Archant

Between October and the beginning of December, however, that figure jumped again - to three prohibition orders and six fixed penalty notices.

The fines were given to two licenced premises, one cafe, two shops and a carwash.

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The prohibition orders, which can stop a business from operating for a period of time, were given to a carwash, licenced premises and barber. 

The council said it was not able to name the premises involved as that may prejudice any future legal proceedings.

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According to the council, enforcement against businesses breaching lockdown rules is always a last resort.

Carl Smith Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, says the first step will always be to warn and advise a business believed to be flouting coronavirus legislation - Credit: Archant

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The safety of the public is our main concern.

"All local businesses and residents are responsible for following the government’s regulations and doing their bit to protect lives and livelihoods, the health of their customers, staff and the wider community.

“We appreciate these are very tough times for businesses and we take a measured approach to formal enforcement.

"Where the council receives reports of a premises breaking the rules, which often comes from fellow businesses, Covid Marshals and the public, Environmental Health Officers will attend to provide advice, answer questions and to encourage voluntary compliance in the first instance.

“Those who refuse to follow the government guidelines will be dealt with accordingly and issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for the beach of lockdown legislation.”

The news comes as dozens more coronavirus marshals are being introduced across Norfolk to act as "the eyes and the ears of the districts".

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules a

Covid marshals out patrolling in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

In preparation for coming out of the November lockdown, Great Yarmouth Borough Council increased Covid marshal numbers from six to ten, as well as recruiting an additional cohort of "flexible officers" to be drawn on if necessary.

They will continue to patrol schools, businesses and leaflet high-risk households.

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