Personal care service companies warned over lockdown rules

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Trafford Council health chiefs have reminded companies of their lockdown responsibilities after a Stretford nail bar was fined.

They reiterate that businesses offering ‘close contact’ services, such as hairdressers, beauty treatments and manicures cannot trade during the current lockdown and appointments must not be booked.

The restriction on this type of personal care business relates to both those with a business premises and those offering services within the home.

Businesses that continue to operate, despite the COVID-19 restrictions, could be fined up to £1,000 for a first offence of non-compliance, and people using close contact services could also be fined.

Last week a nail studio in Stretford was served with a fixed penalty by Greater Manchester Police after numerous reports were received about people entering the premises and it was found to still be providing treatments, despite the current restrictions.

Eleanor Roaf, Trafford Council’s director of public health, said: “We are receiving a concerning number of reports of ‘close contact’ businesses that are continuing to trade and bringing customers onto their premises.

“Infection numbers in Trafford have risen sharply since Christmas and remain extremely high. The only way we will bring these numbers down, and in time move out of lockdown, is by avoiding all contact with other people as much as possible.

“The new COVID-19 strain is up to 70% more infectious, which means that any contact has an increased likelihood of spreading infection. We all need to concentrate harder on how we can play our part in reducing this spread.

“I urge residents not to book appointments for personal care services at this time and ask businesses to resist the temptation to trade.

“The vaccine roll-out is going well in Trafford and there is light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, but in the immediate term we must all do everything we can to protect each other and reduce the number of people getting the virus.”

Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council’s executive member for COVID-19 recovery and reform said: “We understand that businesses want to trade, but the current restrictions are there to protect us all, and at this time non-essential close care businesses must stick to the rules and remain closed.

“Personal care, by its very nature, has obvious risks of infection transmission and our enforcement officers are following up all reports of non-compliance and will not hesitate to take action if required.

“We don’t issue fines lightly, but if this is the only way to stop the spread of the virus and keep residents safe, we will, of course, go down this road.”