MISINFORMATION and ‘ill-informed opinion’ is leading some businesses to flout lockdown law and stay open when they should be closed, says Rugby Borough Council (RBC).
The council is offering businesses help to comply with Covid-19 lockdown regulations, after some indicated they would ignore them and continue to trade as normal.
A council spokesperson said: “Contrary to information being circulated by a handful of businesses, Magna Carta, common law and freemen of the land status do not give any legal grounds to remain open.”
Non-essential shops, salons and tattoo studios are among the businesses that must remain closed. Pubs and restaurants are permitted to provide takeaway only services, while shops can still provide click-and-collect services.
Rugby Borough Council is offering support to businesses which adapt their service in order to comply through the council’s licensing, commercial regulation and economic development teams.
But enforcement action will be taken against businesses which are not permitted to open but refuse to comply.
RBC leader Coun Seb Lowe said: “I know how tough it is for businesses that have been forced to close again, just as they were starting to get back towards a normal trading environment.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support businesses. We will shortly be able to start distributing the government’s business support grants, can provide online click and collect services through the ShopAppy service we are funding, and can help businesses to diversify into takeaway and off-sales.
“However, where businesses listen to misinformation and ill-informed opinion and choose to deliberately flout the law despite our support and advice, we will take enforcement action.
“It is up to all of us to do everything we can to make sure that the infection rate drops. We all want to get back to business as soon as we can.”
Details of the government business support grants will be announced as soon as they are finalised.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information.