Customers stopped from entering city centre shop after lack of social distancing
Customers have been barred from entering a Leicester city centre shop after it was found to be breaching social distancing regulations.
Officers from Leicester City Council’s regulatory services team visited Beauty Queens Cosmetics, in Belgrave Gate, at the end of May, and observed dozens of customers and nine staff in the shop – despite a sign saying only two customers were allowed inside at any one time.
The business, and others, had been previously warned to follow correct social distancing measures to protect staff and customers – in this case meaning they were only permitted to open for deliveries or for customers to click and collect items from outside the shop.
While the vast majority of city businesses have complied with the regulations, Beauty Queens Cosmetics had ignored the warnings, said Leicester City Council.
Council officers observed that customers were inside the shop, there was no social distancing or protective measures in place, and customers were only permitted to pay in cash, with no contactless payment system available, and two tills with employees only a metre apart were in operation.
Officers served an immediate prohibition notice on the business and once the regulations were explained to the management the shop was cleared of customers.
The shop is allowed to continue operating through deliveries or a click and collect service, but no customers can be allowed inside the shop.
No further complaints have been received since the notice was served.
Government restrictions are due to allow non-essential businesses such as this to reopen from Monday, June 15, but they will still be expected to have in place social distancing measures to keep customers two metres apart, as well as protective measures for staff such as screens, masks, and contactless payment methods if possible.
Leicester deputy city mayor responsible for regulatory services councillor Piara Singh Clair, said: “It is vital that businesses are aware of their obligations both to staff and to customers, to ensure they are safe.
“In this instance, officers observed shoppers being allowed into the premises, and once inside, found a busy shop with customers and staff in conditions which totally disregarded the Government’s social distancing requirements.
“An employee had been placed at the front door, but he did not stop customers from entering. Even after the management and staff were told to close the doors, several more customers continued to try to enter.
“Not only should the business have stopped customers entering the premises, but the social distancing measures they had in place were not adequate and fell very short of any guidelines.
“Officers will continue to work with all businesses across the city to ensure that they do no present a risk of infection to their staff or their customers by blatantly disregarding rules which are there for the health and wellbeing of everyone.”