East London council gets tough with major retailers on face covering and seeks residents’ views
Barking and Dagenham Council has written to a number of major retailers operating in the borough reminding them of their responsibility to ensure shoppers are wearing face coverings and adopting other social distancing rules to keep the borough safe. The council is also asking for the views of its residents on helping to enforce these rules.
Following complaints from a number of residents, the council has contacted a number of major retailers, reminding them of their responsibility to alert shoppers of the need to wear face coverings while shopping.
We all need to work together to help ease the lockdown as inevitably, the rules are broken and infection rates rise, tighter lockdown rules will be introduced which will make it difficult to get the borough back working.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “Our residents have asked us to ensure that all retailers are doing their bit to ensure that the law is complied with, and shopper’s health is protected.
In the letter, the council pointed to the fact that a number of local businesses are already complying with government guidance and are engaging in effective measures to ensure that the law is upheld. It also reminds the businesses that as large retailers in the borough, they carry a significant responsibility to ensure that the rules are upheld in their premises.
Cllr Mullane added that “despite our officers working closely with businesses to adopt government guidelines on social distancing and face coverings, we have now been forced to take the unprecedented step of writing to the named businesses.
“We welcome businesses operating in the borough, but we also want them to act in a manner that is socially responsible and play by the rules. We have done it before and will not hesitate to explore all the powers available to us to enforce against any business in our efforts to keep our borough and residents safe. We cannot put profit before people’s safety.
“We all need to work together to help ease the lockdown as inevitably, the rules are broken and infection rates rise, tighter lockdown rules will be introduced which will make it difficult to get the borough back working.”
The council has made it clear to the businesses that they must, with immediate effect review their policies to ensure they are able to enforce the requirement for customers to wear face coverings. As with other businesses operating across the borough, council officers are available to work with the retailers to help ensure they can operate in a fair and safe environment.
Residents of Barking and Dagenham can tell the council about their views on people wearing facemasks here.