Sandwell businesses thanked for support as lockdown measures continue to ease
Published 12th May 2021
Businesses in Sandwell have been thanked for their ongoing support in preventing the spread of Covid-19 as lockdown measures ease.
Council chiefs say the vast majority of businesses which reopened from 12 April – as well as those that remained open for essential items earlier in the year – have followed government rules and made sure the necessary safety measures are in place for staff and shoppers alike.
With the next step in relaxing restrictions due on Monday (17 May), the council is reminding everyone to keep following the current government rules at each point of the lockdown easing to help prevent a new spike in infections.
And if a shop or business isn’t taking steps to keep you safe – for example if there’s poor social distancing, if they’re not encouraging the use of face coverings or if a pub or restaurant isn’t taking contact details – then the message is vote with your feet and don’t go there.
Email PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk if you have a concern about a business in Sandwell.
Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police are continuing to visit businesses across Sandwell to check compliance with the latest rules, offer advice and guidance and, if needed, take further action if the business doesn’t comply.
Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest government rules on what you can and can’t do.
Since 12 April, the council and police have visited businesses and responded to household gatherings and provided guidance. We have carried out over 170 visits to premises to check compliance and offer advice and guidance. Three hospitality venues have received a Prohibition Notice for holding indoor gatherings that breached the regulations in place.
The police continue to take action against people illegally hosting or attending large house gatherings or parties, with fixed penalty notices issued where breaches of the government restrictions have occurred.
Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “We know it’s been a very difficult time for businesses – and we really want to thank all those businesses and their staff who have been following the rules and doing everything they can to keep people safe.
“Our environmental protection team, along with the police, have been visiting businesses across the borough to check compliance and offer advice and guidance.
“They’ve made more than 170 visits since 12 April alone, and environmental health and trading standards officers have carried out around 20 follow-up visits where concerns have been identified.
“Overall compliance has been very good and the majority of businesses welcome the additional support and guidance. We want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s played their part as well as to our staff and the police for the work they have done.
“With a further easing of restrictions due next week, we would urge everyone to keep following the rules for everyone’s safety and to know the council and police will still be visiting premises and taking action on any reports of non-compliance.
“The last thing we need is another spike in infections. We’ve come so far and infection rates have fallen dramatically, but there is still a killer virus out there.”
Since 15 March, The Health and Safety Executive has also been conducting spot checks on Sandwell businesses with 1,149 contacted to date. As few as 17 (1.5%) of those inspected required a follow-up from the council’s environmental health team.
Small businesses with ten staff and fewer are reminded they are now eligible to collect rapid test kits from West Bromwich Town Hall. Regular testing is the best way to keep yourself, your staff and all your loved ones safe. Just turn up at the town hall and collect your tests, 1-5pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
People are also reminded of the importance of getting a Covid-19 PCR test and self-isolating, together with their household, if they develop Covid-19 symptoms.