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Those who are failing to comply could be temporarily closed or face prosecution through the intiative, which involves officials from Melton Borough Councl working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Businesses will be given advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but immediate action will be taken if no attempts are made to rectify operational areas which do not meet the required standard.

This could range from the provision of specific advice to issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, it could lead to court action.

The spot check teams, working with Leicestershire County Council, could decide to close down any premises which repeatedly fail to comply.

Councillor Joe Orson, leader of the borough council, said: “All businesses are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are COVID-secure.

“By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the local and national UK economy.”

Across England, HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors, including failure to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing measures and the absence of an adequate cleaning regime, particularly at busy times of the day.

Businesses in the Melton borough will be told to make adjustments where necessary, such as having a customer logging system and displaying the NHS track and trace QR code where they are required to.

Melton is one of 12 councils chosen to take part in this latest run of Covid compliance spot checks.

Councillor Orson added: “We are talking to local businesses and inspecting sites in and around Melton to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

“The majority of businesses and organisations have been playing their part to protect the community.

“However, becoming COVID-secure needs to be the priority for all businesses in the borough.

“It is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps and adjustments to control the risk and protect people and the community from coronavirus.

“We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”



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