Bolton businesses fined for lockdown breaches

Two more Bolton businesses have been fined for lockdown breaches – and police and council enforcement teams are urging firms to do their bit to help fight the virus.

Over forty Bolton businesses have been fined for lockdown breaches since September 2020 with a further six since January 2021, and police and council enforcement teams are urging firms to do their bit to help fight the virus.

A barbers in Bolton town centre and a mobile phone shop in the north of the borough are amoung the latest firms to be issued with £1,000 fines by Bolton Council.

Council enforcement officers and police visited the town centre barbers on Thursday after receiving information that customers had been coming in the back of the shop for haircuts. Under lockdown rules designed to help stop the spread of Covid-19, barbers and other close contact services such as beauty parlours must remain closed.

At the mobile shop, customers were being allowed into the shop to browse and speak to staff. Mobile phone shops are only currently allowed to open for click and collect services.

The owners of both businesses were issued with Fixed Penalty Notices.

Cllr Hilary Fairclough, Bolton Council Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Regulatory Services, said most companies in Bolton were doing the right thing.

Cllr Fairclough said: “It’s disappointing to hear once again that one or two businesses are letting the side down. These companies are just not playing fair and if you are one of the vast majority who are sticking to the rules it must be very frustrating to hear of these kind of breaches.

“Most companies in Bolton, if they are allowed to remain open, are operating in a Covid-secure way to keep their staff and customers safe. And those that have been asked to close such as non-essential shops, hospitality businesses and close contact services have shut up shop.

“It’s important to remember that help is available to businesses which do have to close under lockdown rules - either through the furlough scheme, business rate reliefs or grants.

“The council will be investigating to establish if either of these two businesses have been in receipt of grants or other support to help them during the lockdown. And these will be withdrawn or recovered if we find the rules have been broken.”

The latest up to date working safely guidance for businesses remaining open is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19 or www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely.

For information on the help available to businesses during lockdown visit: businessbolton.org/covid19

Full details of all business restrictions during the current lockdown are available at bolton.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-1/local-restrictions-can-cannot

Published: 11th February 2021