A barber shop has been closed down after leaving customers at risk by failing to follow Covid rules including not wearing face masks or following social distancing rules and then claiming the virus was a conspiracy.
Nottinghamshire Police today worked with Nottinghamshire County Council and Ashfield Council to close down the Talking Heads salon in Ashfield after environmental health officers reported finding significant breaches of COVID-19 rules.
This is the third time a Direction to Close has been served by the County Council since gaining the power to help prevent, contain and manage local coronavirus in relation to individual premises.
In recent weeks two pubs have been closed – last week officers worked with the council to close Zinc bar in West Bridgford and last month the Queen’s Head in Broxtowe borough was also closed due to similar issues.
The temporary closure will take affect from 6pm tonight (16 October) and may last until the 13 November 2020 but will reviewed every seven days. In the meantime, officers from Ashfield District Council and the County Council will work with the business proprietors to help them put systems in place to make sure they are Covid-secure.
Jonathan Gribbin, Director of Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We will not hesitate to take action against businesses whose operations pose a serious and imminent risk to the health of their customers, staff and the wider community
“As we move into the first weekend of living at high alert level, residents and businesses need to be extra vigilant and follow restrictions in place to help reduce the spread of infection.”
The barbershop, on Portland Road, Hucknall, by trade engages in close personal contact with members of the public. Despite this, it was readily apparent to officers that even the most basic form of virus protection was not in place for those using the premises.
Amongst other things there was an absence of enforcement of social distancing; mask wearing; sanitiser; use of sanitiser and no notices were on display asking people to comply with regulations. Nor did the barbers in the shop appear to understand the need for such requirements and when questioned by local authority officers even produced documentation regarding Covid-19 being a conspiracy.
Neighbourhood Insp Mark Dickson said: “We all have an incredibly important responsibility to adhere to the Coronavirus regulations as part of our national effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
“All businesses must comply with the protocols set by the Government as a matter of public safety and we will not stand for persistent breaches of the regulations in our city and county.
“In this case there was deliberate flouting of the restrictions which is both reckless and endangers life which is not acceptable. As a result the business has been closed. We will be patrolling in the area on a regular basis to ensure the business remains closed.”
Cllr John Wilmott, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services at Ashfield District Council added: “It is disappointing to hear that a local business is failing to provide a Covid Secure environment for their customers. It meant we had no option but to take this action despite our teams continuing to provide them with the advice and support since the pandemic started.
“We continue to work with business owners on the guidelines, and have visited hundreds of businesses in recent weeks to help them adapt to laws and the vast majority are doing an amazing job.
“We will continue to support them however we can, but we will not tolerate complacency when it comes to regulations that are designed to protect the health of our residents.
“Our Environmental Health Team have worked closely with officers at the Council Council, and it is hugely important that businesses implement all necessary measures to keep their premises secure for customers and help tackle the rising number of cases.”