Pubs, restaurants and salons among businesses in South Tyneside to be subject to covid spot checks by safety officers
Safety spot checks are being carried out on South Tyneside businesses as the borough continues to battle covid after restrictions began to lift.
South Tyneside Council said its officers will be working alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to visit businesses to check that they have covid-secure measures in place.
The spot checks, which will start next week, will be conducted at premises including restaurants and close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers, tattoo studios and tanning and beauty salons.
The visits will ensure that local businesses have the correct measures in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect staff, customers and visitors.
Stuart Wright, Head of Environment, said: “The council and HSE will be carrying out unannounced visits to businesses that we have regulatory responsibility for.
“We’ll be checking that they are aware of and are operating in line with government guidance and have the correct measures in place to help prevent infection and protect people’s health.
“The borough’s businesses are crucial to our local economy so supporting them to ensure they are covid-secure is a priority.
“We will be providing advice and guidance but where we identify any significant concerns that businesses are not managing risk properly, we will take appropriate enforcement action.”
It comes as South Tyneside hospitality businesses prepare for the first bank holiday weekend since restrictions eased on April 12, with hopes spending will them bounce back from months of lockdown.
Pubs restaurant and cafes spent weeks preparing to reopen, many spending thousands on improving or creating outdoor seating areas and putting covid-secure systems in place.
Dozens of pavement licences have also been granted by the council so businesses can set up outdoor seating on the street.
Council chiefs have praised businesses for their response, though Northumbria Police said there had been some ‘teething troubles’ with pubs.
Mr Wright said being covid-secure means businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage risk and protect workers and others from the coronavirus.
He said the council is also working alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.
For the latest information and safer business guidance, see www.gov.uk