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Birmingham council granted new enforcement powers as restrictions on hospitality increase

25 August 2020 by

Birmingham City Council has been granted new powers to control the spread of Covid-19, including the ability to close restaurants and bars without adequate risk assessments in place.

The additional measures, granted today following a meeting of the government gold command, largely make previously announced regulations legally enforceable, but have also seen hospitality premises told not to accept bookings of more than six people or of groups from more than two households.

The authority has also said track and trace should be enforced and staff should be sent home to isolate and take a test if they show any symptoms of Covid-19.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said that despite rates in the city declining "we cannot be complacent" as he set out the goal of keeping avoiding the need to close schools after they open for the new term next month.

Ward added: "Staying focused now will also support our fragile economic recovery in the long term. No one wants to see a continual ‘stop, start' approach as to what citizens can do and where they can go, least of all our business community.

"Most of whom are adhering to the guidance and are doing all they can to keep our citizens safe. For those that are not we are now enacting powers to ensure that they do. These new powers will allow us to intervene when businesses are putting staff and customers at risk of infection. By all working together to take action now, we can hopefully bring the numbers down, prevent further restrictions and protect the health and jobs of people across the city."

The council has also been granted enhanced powers to prohibit events from taking place on the basis of size, and to close public outdoor spaces to protect public health.

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