Tattoo studio owner fined for failing to close in lockdown

The Art Eternal Tattoo Studio in Pakefield.

The Art Eternal Tattoo Studio in Pakefield. - Credit: Google Maps

A tattoo studio owner has been fined £1,000 for failing to close her businesses in lockdown.

Following concerns raised by members of the public, East Suffolk Council’s Environmental Health officers and Suffolk Police visited the Art Eternal Tattoo Studio in Pakefield, where customers were being tattooed despite the restrictions, and without wearing face coverings.

Owner Christine McLean was served a fixed penalty notice of £1,000 and handed a prohibition notice ordering the temporary closure of the business.

East Suffolk Council have now urged businesses in the district to follow the government’s coronavirus restrictions, warning failing to do so risks the safety of staff and customers.

Councillor Mary Rudd, cabinet member for community health, said: “We understand that businesses want to remain open. However, the current restrictions are in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

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“The restrictions clearly show which businesses must close and financial support is available for those businesses affected.

“These are difficult times for everyone, but we must continue to stick to the rules to help keep people safe.”

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Enforcement action was also taken by Suffolk Police as customers inside the studio were not wearing face coverings as required by law in certain indoor settings, including tattoo and piercing parlours.

Sgt Steve Wright said: “This action is a great example of partnership working.

“We’ll reiterate what we have said previously - people must comply to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and to ensure lives are saved. We will engage with people sensibly, proportionately, fairly, and using the well-established four Es approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing.

“Any enforcement action has always been a last resort, but we will take it if deemed necessary.”

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is available to businesses required to close until December 2 in line with the nationwide restrictions which came into force on November 5.

These businesses include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

Full details, including an application form, are available on the East Suffolk Council website.

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