Action taken against Covid rule-breaking businesses

Argyll and Bute Council.

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Council officials had to take enforcement action against 23 businesses in Argyll and Bute as part of Covid-19 measures, a report has revealed.

The authority also says that it has investigated nearly 900 complaints from the public about businesses since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

However, it is also stated that there have been ‘high levels of compliance’ across the area in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

The information was provided in a document for a virtual meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee yesterday (Thursday, September 2).

No information was given on the businesses in question, or where in Argyll and Bute they are located.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘Over the period from March 2020, the council has aimed to support businesses to ensure that they have appropriate guidance and advice to be ‘Covid safe’ and to ensure that businesses that were not permitted to open remained closed.

‘This approach has achieved high levels of compliance, protecting public health in controlling any potential spread of Covid infection. This work continues to promote and secure compliance, and re-emphasising the FACTS messages.

‘This work has been demanding and challenging over this period, and environmental health and trading standards officers have been in direct contact with 2,780 businesses to assess their Covid measures.

‘There has been a total of officer contact with 2,780 businesses, [and we have] investigated 896 complaints from the public about businesses, provided advice via website, through businesses groups, Business Gateway and through specific business enquiries.

‘Revisits were carried out to 456 businesses and there were 23 instances where formal enforcement or prohibition notices were required to cease business activities.’

The spokesperson added: ‘The Covid pandemic and the public health control measures, including lockdown, significantly impacted on all aspects of everyday life.

‘New statutory powers were placed on local authorities and Police Scotland to regulate the public health restrictions across businesses, domestic dwellings, and public areas.

‘In response, the council developed a memorandum of understanding with Police Scotland to coordinate enforcement activity and agree priorities, an enforcement strategy – engage, educate, encourage and enforce – and authorised officers from regulatory services, including environmental health, and trading standards officers to carry out this work.’