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COVID-19 Licensing Issues - OPSS Update to Local Authorities in England on business closure enforcement Published Date: 30/03/2020

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has written to local authorities providing updated guidance on the restriction Regulations.

The guidance makes it clear that “The Secretary of State has enabled all local authorities to designate officers to enforce the Regulations and has designated all local authorities to take criminal proceedings. This means that all local authorities in England (District, County and Unitary authorities) and their designated officers have powers to act.”

The guidance has also made it clear what local authorities need to do:

  1. Understand the requirements for business closures and restrictions
  2. Designate officers to enforce the requirements
  3. Work out how you are going to get information out to your local businesses
  4. Be ready to answer questions from businesses
  5. Work out local enforcement arrangements with other local authorities and with the Police
  6. Tackle failures to comply

The guidance on issuing fixed penalty notices is yet to be published.

The OPSS guidance also includes a template prohibition notice for use by local authorities.