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Cheshire East Council is to use new powers to bring businesses found breaching Covid restrictions into line.

Powers granted by Government include improvement notices, restriction notices, and immediate restriction notices including fines of up to £4,000.

The return to the local tiering system of COVID measures means more businesses have been able to open and operate in Cheshire East.

A Coronavirus Improvement Notice (CIN) can be issued by the council when a business is failing to fulfil a provision set out in the relevant coronavirus regulations.

Failure to comply with a CIN could lead to a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £2,000 and/or a Coronavirus Restriction Notice being issued.

A Coronavirus Restriction Notice (CRN) will be issued when there has been a breach of the provisions of the relevant coronavirus regulations, and the premises has failed to comply with the terms of a CIN, where this non-compliance creates a risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Failure to comply with a CRN will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued.

And a Coronavirus Immediate Restrictions Notice (CIRN) will be issued by enforcement officers where rapid action is needed to close a premises or restrict an activity to stop the spread of the virus, without first issuing a CIN to stop the spread of the virus.

Failure to comply with a CIRN will result in an FPN of £4,000 being issued.

Cllr Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “We have been working hard with businesses to help them to understand the guidance and implement Covid-secure measures to keep both staff and customers as safe as possible.

“We have followed the ‘4 Es’ principles in our work with businesses: ‘Engage’, ‘Explain’, ‘Encourage’ and ‘Enforce’.

“To date, thanks to the genuine goodwill and cooperation of the vast majority of businesses in Cheshire East, enforcement has only been brought forward as a last resort.

“However, these new powers mean that we can act more quickly where businesses are in breach of the regulations and people are put at risk.

“Our priority is to ensure that people are safe.

“Where, following engagement, explanation and encouragement, businesses are unable or unwilling to comply with Covid regulations we will not hesitate to enforce the law using these new powers.

“Working together, we can keep each other safe, abiding by the new regulations, while supporting many businesses to operate and customers to access the goods and services they need.”

Information about what businesses can and cannot do, can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-2-high-alert#business-and-venues

Any local business seeking advice about how the regulations apply to them or if anyone has concerns about whether a business is operating in a Covid-secure manner can contact [email protected]

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