Council joins forces with police to check business compliance with Covid-19 regulations

Lancaster City Council staff joined forces with the police this week to check on businesses that have been required to close under lockdown.

The joint operation named Operation Groundhog was conducted by the council’s Covid Information Officers and Public Protection Team, together with local police and involved a sweep of 250 barbers, tattooists, hairdressers, tanning and beauty salons, gyms and sports venues across the district to check if they remained shut.

The outcome of the operation which focussed on the personal care, close contact service and fitness industry revealed there were no premises found to be operating at the time of the visit.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The result of this operation is great news and tells us that there remains a high rate of compliance with the law among affected businesses. I thank all of these businesses for continuing to respect the law and the part they are playing in preventing spread of the virus and keeping their customers safe.

“Even so, we have received information to suggest there are still a few businesses in this industry that might still be open from time to time so to confirm whether or not this is the case, further unannounced compliance visits will be carried out over the next few weeks including during the evenings and at weekends.  Any businesses found flouting the law can expect action to be taken against them using the new range of powers available to us.”

Sergeant Lindsay Brown, Partnerships Officer for Lancaster and Morecambe Police, added:  “We’ve been working with local authority partners to make sure premises are complying with the lockdown restrictions. We know the vast majority of people in the district will do the right thing and will support our officers enforcing the law when the minority choose to deliberately ignore it and put our communities at risk.”

Anybody who is concerned that a business or your workplace may be breaking lockdown rules or do not feel safe should let the council know by emailing environmentalhealth@lancaster.gov.uk

Businesses who have questions about compliance should also contact the council for support through advice and guidance.

Last updated: 28 January 2021