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Public protection teams visit non-essential retail shops: compliance high, but advice on contact tracing and face coverings

Published: Tuesday, 13th April 2021

Public protection teams have visited 95 non-essential retail premises across the city in a full day of activities to support shops reopening from the national coronavirus restrictions.

A total of 12 Stoke-on-Trent City Council officers visited the city centre, town centres, other retail areas and high streets and reported good compliance with Covid-secure measures in premises.

In total, they visited 30 general retail stores, 29 hospitality and leisure premises including pubs, and 36 businesses that have close contacts with customers such as hairdressers and barbers.

Officers gave advice to 25 premises on issues such as displaying QR codes and posters for contact tracing arrangements, social distancing measures in stores and appropriate face coverings for staff. Their visits were to give advice to businesses, and no enforcement action was carried out.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “Businesses have been planning for today’s (Monday) reopening for such a long time, it is a hugely significant milestone in our city’s journey out of lockdown to have non-essential retail stores back open.

“It’s been fantastic to see so many businesses following their tried and tested Covid-secure measures and putting the safety of customers and staff first, and we wish them every success as lockdown continues to ease.

“Our officers were visiting premises very much in a supporting role to check the processes that businesses have in place and to give advice. The majority of the premises they gave advice to were barbers shops, where they found that staff either had face coverings but weren’t wearing them correctly, or didn’t have face coverings at all. We stress that this was a small number of premises, and teams will monitor the situation. Many pubs in the city were not open today, and teams will continue to work with premises as we move towards the weekend.

“We know that some shopping areas in the city were busy today and the focus of the public protection teams’ work was on support for businesses.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, director of adult social care, health integration and wellbeing, said: “We know that it is exciting to have shops reopening and to be able to go to the hairdressers and gyms again. Premises have been working so hard to support the safe return of shoppers and visitors. We ask that if you are out and about to please remember the hands, face, space and fresh air message. Continue to follow the public health guidance and please stay safe.”

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For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.

www.stoke.gov.uk/news

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