Sandwell Council urges customers to avoid unsafe shops and pubs

Sandwell Council is urging shoppers and pub goers to 'vote with their feet' and avoid businesses not following Covid-19 guidance in the borough as lockdown measures ease across England.

Since Monday 12 April, more businesses have been able to re-open following the government's easing of restrictions, including non-essential retail, gyms, restaurants and pubs outdoors, hairdressers and beauty salons.  

Businesses that are not taking contact details and places where people do not wear face coverings when required should be avoided, Sandwell Council has warned.

Businesses are being urged by the council to take action to follow the government’s measures to keep infection rates down or risk losing customers.

The easing of restrictions requires that hospitality and other venues take the details of every customer, not just the details of one person from each group, as were the previous government guidelines.

Commenting, Sandwell Council’s Director of Public Health, Lisa McNally said: “Sandwell has seen one of the fastest falls in infection rates in the country. It’s been a remarkable achievement by our community.

“In order to maintain this as we come out of lockdown, we need local businesses to play their part.

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

“If a business doesn’t seem to care about my health, or my family’s health, then why should I use their services?

“If you are in a shop where people aren’t wearing face coverings, leave and shop somewhere else. If you are visiting an outside area of 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.

“We would like to hear about any business that isn’t taking the protection of their customers seriously.” 

West Midlands Police Superintendent, Phil Asquith added: "Our officers along with Sandwell Council will continue our patrols to monitor businesses to ensure they are complying with the latest government rules.

"Businesses found to be flouting these rules could face a fine and closure if caught.

“Customers also need to take this seriously. If a shop, pub, restaurant or any other business isn’t safe, then go somewhere else that is.

“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.”

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