Two Preston food outlets have been issued with prohibition notices, also known as closure notices, after staying open to walk in customers after 10pm.
The notices are the first to be issued in the city following the introduction of new restrictions on the opening hours of businesses.
Preston Council are currently unable to name the businesses as the outlets have seven days to appeal the notices.
Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation at Preston City Council, said: “We are disappointed to see these businesses not following the rules and staying open to walk in customers past 10pm.
“Our environmental health staff will continue to work hard with partners including Lancashire Police to help businesses in the city understand these new measures and we’re grateful to the vast majority of businesses who are following the rules and doing everything they can to keep customers safe in difficult circumstances.
“We are also pleased and grateful that the majority of the public have respected these new regulations and allowed sufficient time to visit food outlets before closing time.
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“These notices are not issued lightly, but we are taking this matter extremely seriously and will not hesitate to use our regulatory powers to protect the health of residents and ensure businesses sticking to the rules are not missing out by doing so.”
Under new regulations to stop the increasing spread of coronavirus food outlets must close to walk in customers by 10pm. However, they may still offer delivery services to customers after this time.
The notices mean the businesses will remain under scrutiny from Preston City Council and Lancashire Police with any further breaches incurring a fine of £1000 – an amount that would increase further with any additional breaches.
The city council said the notices came after officers from the city council and Lancashire Police visited premises across the city over the weekend to check if restrictions were being kept to.
What do you think about food businesses staying open past 10pm? What do you make of the prohibition notices? Let us know in the comments below