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Businesses praised for doing their bit on Covid-19

Swansea businesses have been praised for their commitment to doing their bit to protect local communities by abiding by the Covid-19 rules.

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Unannounced visits by the council's public health team to hospitality leisure, hairdressing and other businesses indicate that most are doing their best to work within the rules set out after the area went into a local lockdown a week ago.

Those who have been issued with improvement notices have also worked with the council to address their shortcomings so they can continue with their businesses.

Businesses issued with improvement notices include a number of hairdressing establishments, two Aldi supermarket stores, one Lidl store and a branch of the Xercise4less chain. A number of hospitality businesses have also been issued with notices.

However, three more immediate closure notices have been issued over the weekend to Al Nakheel and Shisha Bar in St Helen's Road and to the Sultan Coffee Lounge in Wind Street. These premises will not be able to open within 14 days until improvements have been complied with.

Eleven of 12 premises issued with improvement notices are now operating within regulations set out under Welsh Government regulations designed to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the virus. Noah's Yard in Uplands and Chick-O-Land in Wind Street, which had previously been issued with closure orders, are now in compliance and have been given permission to re-open.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Delivery and Operations, praised businesses for doing their bit with the council to do the right thing.

He said: "Everyone must play their part. Our public health teams have been working flat-out over the last few weeks inspecting premises, responding to requests from businesses for advice and guidance and following-up concerns raised by members of the public.

 "In the main they found good compliance in the vast majority of cases which meant that the visits could also be used to provide further information to the businesses they visited about the new regulations.

"In the case of Xercise4less, as soon as senior management were told of our concerns they sent a team from Head Office to carry out and oversee the changes we needed to see. Consequently we were able to lift an immediate closure notice within 24 hours of it being imposed.

"It demonstrated how seriously the company took our concerns but it also showed their willingness to work with us to protect their customers and staff from the virus."

It is the responsibility of businesses to ensure that social distancing is maintained and their premises can be used in a way that is safe for customers and staff and minimises the potential for Covid-19 to spread.

Cllr Hopkins said: "Ensuring the city is safe to visit is a priority, particularly as the number of Covid-19 cases is continuing to rise. The virus has not gone away. Neither businesses nor their customers can be allowed to flout the rules."

Swansea Council has produced a new online form that people can use to report direct to the licensing and public health teams at the council if they have concerns about how a business is managing its responsibilities under Welsh Government law. Members of the public with concerns about a business can report it here: https://www.swansea.gov.uk/covid19breach

Businesses seeking advice or guidance can contact the council's public health and licensing team by email here: EVH.licensing@swansea.gov.uk

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