Four new Covid officers have joined a council's environmental health team to ensure businesses in the borough are complying with Covid regulations.

Pendle Council's new Covid officers will visit businesses in Pendle which reopened from May 12, including pubs, restaurants and cafes opening indoors for food and drink.

The Covid officers will also help to cover inspection visits of the hundreds of businesses which opened from April 12, including hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattooists and physiotherapists.

Michael Duck who leads the team said: “Out of 93 visits we made last week in mid-May, 54 were compliant and the rest were not.

“This is a worsening and worrying picture and we had to flag up some businesses to the police.

"Businesses have a legal duty to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus.

"Problems spotted by the team included businesses not having hand sanitiser available for customers, businesses not doing contact tracing, businesses not allowing more space and people not wearing masks.”

The Covid-secure measures businesses should have in place include:

• Risk assessment: every workplace should have a Covid risk assessment. Update it to reflect any changes in legislation or guidance that may impact your work activity

• Social distancing: where possible you should keep people two metres apart. If this is not viable, keeping one metre apart with risk mitigation is acceptable

• Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing: keeping your workplace clean reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread. It is a critical part of making and keeping your business


• Ventilation and air conditioning can help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Leader of Pendle Council, Councillor Nadeem Ahmed, said: “Now that more Government restrictions have lifted it’s vital that we take the next steps safely.

“As we continue the roadmap out of lockdown and more businesses reopen, Pendle Council is continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out spot checks and inspections on local businesses.

“The pandemic is not over.

“And with the new variant from India now present in Covid cases in Pendle we cannot afford for businesses or customers to take risks."

For more information visit Pendle Council’s website or ring the Environmental Health Team on 01282 662009.