Trading Standards warns stay put, we're shut!
Despite the current coronavirus lockdown, Trading Standards has reported that some people are ignoring government guidelines against non-essential travel and coming to Brighton & Hove to stay in pre-booked holiday accommodation.
Emergency legislation now in place states that accommodation providers must remain closed to guests until further notice.
Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, even for isolation purposes and holiday property owners must not allow guests to stay.
If guests who have previously booked accommodation turn up, they should be sent home. They are not permitted, by law, to stay.
Accommodation providers who flout the law are liable for prosecution and face unlimited fines.
There are some exemptions to the strict rules. For example, hotels who are offering accommodation to key workers, such as NHS staff, and the homeless.
Chair of the Licensing Committee, Jackie O’Quinn, said: “There is a clear distinction between what is essential and non-essential travel and the rules are clear.
“Travelling to the city to self-isolate with friends or family or because you’ve booked a break, is not essential and will not be tolerated.
“People must remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.
“We do not like telling people not to come to our city, it feels fundamentally at odds with everything we usually do, but we are in the midst of a global health emergency and we have a legal and moral duty to do everything we can to support the people on the frontline who are risking their lives for us.
"That’s what this is about. This is not a holiday and the sooner everyone complies with what we’ve all been asked to do, the sooner we can get back to being the welcoming Brighton & Hove we’re best known for."
The enforcement of business closures
A business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 is committing an offence.
The legal requirement forcing listed businesses to close came into force on 21 March 2020.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers, with police support if appropriate, will work together to issue prohibition notices challenging unsafe behaviour where businesses do not follow these restrictions. The fines for non-compliance are unlimited.
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