Shoppers, drinkers and diners urged to avoid unsafe businesses

Published 27th August 2020

Shoppers and pub goers are being urged to vote with their feet and avoid businesses not following Covid-19 guidance.

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Pubs that aren’t taking contact details and shops where people don’t wear masks should be avoided, Sandwell Council has warned.

And Sandwell businesses are being urged to take action to follow the Government’s measures to keep infection rates down – or risk losing customers.

Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “People need to vote with their feet and avoid businesses that aren’t taking Covid-19 seriously.

“Our message is that if a shop, pub or restaurant isn’t keeping you safe – don’t go there. If you feel uncomfortable, go elsewhere.

“If you are in a shop where people aren’t wearing masks – leave and shop somewhere else. If you are in a pub or restaurant where people aren’t social distancing and your details haven’t been taken in case of an outbreak, go and drink or eat elsewhere.

“Any pub, shop or restaurant that isn’t following the Covid-19 rules isn’t looking after their customers’ health.

“Covid-19 is a serious illness which can be fatal and we’re still seeing too many infections in Sandwell.

“Businesses and their customers need to take this seriously. If a shop, pub, restaurant or any other business isn’t safe, then go somewhere else that is.”

Sandwell’s Director of Public Health Lisa McNally said: “This is also a message to the businesses who aren’t following the rules and allowing their premises to be unsafe.

“If you aren’t taking the health of your customers seriously, you don’t deserve their business.

“We’re telling customers not to shop in places where the majority of customers aren’t wearing masks, and to avoid pubs and restaurants that are crowded or not taking contact details.

“For customers, if a pub or shop isn’t looking after your health, then use your power as a consumer and take yourself – and your money – elsewhere.

“We hope this will encourage customers to use businesses who are operating responsibly – and to encourage those who are not to take matters seriously and implement measures to keep people safe.”

All Sandwell pubs and restaurants are being urged to:
• Record all customers’ details – so they can be contacted in case of an outbreak
• Ensure customers only socialise in groups of up to two households (including support bubbles) indoors and outdoors, or up to six people from different households when outdoors
• Encourage regular handwashing and good hygiene
• Notify the council’s public health team if two or more staff test positive for Covid-19.

All Sandwell shops must encourage customers to wear face coverings (unless they have a medical reason for being exempt) and inform the public health team if two or more staff test positive for Covid-19.

Business owners can get in touch with the public health team to report two or more cases or if they need advice.