Denbighshire County Council is reminding businesses to comply with clear advice to close unless they are an essential business.
This appeal comes after the UK Government and Welsh Government's announcements that all non-essential businesses and premises must close from March 23 unless they fall under specific exceptions. This measure is part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Businesses are being reminded that it is their responsibility to check whether they must close or whether any of the limited exceptions may apply and advised to check the government’s website for guidance and information changes.
The council says it recognises that the majority of businesses in Denbighshire are following the order to the letter and the business community is to be commended for its timely response.
However, it says that this appeal is aimed at any businesses that continue to open whilst not having an exception. This would be an offence and could potentially place the health of the public at risk.
Officers from the council’s Public Protection service, with police support if appropriate, will be actively monitoring compliance, and any business that breaches the closure will be provided with advice.
If the business continues to not comply, then they may be subject to prohibition notices, fixed penalty notice or potential court action.
Licensed premises that fail to comply could also face the loss of their alcohol licence.
Councillor Mark Young, Cabinet Lead Member for Planning, Public Protection and Safer Communities, said: “At this unprecedented time of change we all need to work together to protect the NHS as well as the health and well-being of ourselves and each other.
“We recognise this is a very difficult time for businesses and the majority of firms in Denbighshire are complying with the order and we thank them for their public-spirited and responsible actions.
“If they have been told to close, then they should follow guidance from the UK Government and Welsh Government to protect their workers and the community.
“We want to also remind business owners that where they are permitted to open they should take all reasonable measures to ensure that individuals – customers as well as staff - stay that safe distance of 2 metres apart. Consider limiting the number of people in store and implementing a card payment only process are just two simple ways of helping your staff and customers.”
Whilst also giving advice to businesses the Council are also asking the public to abide by the restrictions on individuals by not leaving home unless absolutely necessary.
Councillor Young added: “We recognise that people will want to go to the shop for basic necessities and that is allowed by the Government. However, to reduce the risk we would ask people only to make those essential trips as infrequent as possible. Most retail outlets also have shopping facilities online and contactless service which could be used by the public as an alternative if they do need to visit a shop.