Residents urged to report any Devon businesses trading illegally during coronavirus lockdown

Residents in Devon are being asked to shop any businesses they think are trading illegally during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Trading Standards bosses in the county are aiming to crack down on any firms flouting the Government guidelines over Easter.

Whitehall last month ordered hospitality businesses to close and said that people should stay at home -with only ‘essential’ travel allowed.

With very few exceptions, all hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses should be closed for commercial use until further notice.

Additionally, restaurants, pubs, wine bars, cafes, canteens and other food and drink establishments must also close unless they are providing takeaway or delivery-only services.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards is reminding owners of guest houses, campsites and restaurants to remain closed to help combat coronavirus.

And it had issued a message to the public that – if you think a business is open illegally – it can be reported by email to tradingstandards@devon.gov.uk

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council (DCC) cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards, the economy and Visit Devon, said: “We understand that Easter is traditionally seen as the start of the holiday season for many businesses.

“However, as a country we all need to do everything we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“We know that most businesses are abiding with the new rules. However, where businesses choose to ignore the Government, appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

“We recognise that the hospitality industry is facing real challenges in these uncertain times and we will continue to provide support for you via the Heart of South West Growth Hub.”

A DCC spokesman added: “Holidaymakers are also reminded that visiting the WestCountry for leisure is not regarded as essential travel and they risk receiving a fine from the police.”

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