By Tara Rippin •
Published: 25 Aug 2020 • 19:34
Bars and businesses in Birmingham who continue to flout Covid-19 rules could be shut down by police after it was agreed they will be granted new powers.
THIS is the latest measure introduced in England’s second largest city despite the fact infection rates are going down.
In a statement, Birmingham City Council announced the move while urging residents to “help get children back to school.”
Leader of the council, Councillor Ian Ward said the measures will be implemented from tomorrow.
“Much of the guidance in force at present suggests that businesses or people should do/not do certain things which are not legally enforceable. From Wednesday, a number of measures will be changed to a position where people/businesses must comply which creates a legally enforceable obligation and strengthens our position to take action where required.”
In addition to being able to close businesses, the new powers will also give police the authority to ban events such as weddings and funerals, based on capacity.
And they will be able to restrict access to public outdoor spaces in the interests of public health.
Though recent figures show the city’s rates are going down, Ward warned “we can’t be complacent.”
“We must all continue to follow all the relevant safety guidance in order to protect our families, friends and work colleagues. Most importantly staying disciplined now is a price worth paying when compared to the cost of damaging the future life chances of our city’s children.
“Whilst the impact of Covid-19 may be felt over the next few years, the negative impacts upon children not being present at school will last a lifetime.
“Staying focused now will also support our fragile economic recovery in the long term. No one wants to see a continual ‘stop, start’ approach as to what citizens can do and where they can go, least of all our business community.”
Ward stressed that most of us are adhering to the guidance and are doing all they can to keep our citizens safe. But for those that are not, the council are now “enacting powers to ensure that they do.”
He added “These new powers will allow us to intervene when businesses are putting staff and customers at risk of infection.
“By all working together to take action now, we can hopefully bring the numbers down, prevent further restrictions and protect the health and jobs of people across the city.
“We want citizens to be able to feel safe when they support the local economy, so if you are eating out or just going for drinks remember the restaurant or bar should be asking for your contact details and the staff should be doing all they can to make you comfortable.
“If not then you can leave and make the council aware of your concerns.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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