Two Preston restaurants served 'closure' notices for Covid breaches
Two Preston restaurants have been issued with prohibition notices after staying open to walk-in customers after 10pm.
The notices are the first to be issued to businesses in the city following the announcement pubs and restaurants across England will have to close at 10pm in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Preston City Council said the outlets now had seven days to appeal the decision and would not name the businesses until that time elapses or the appeal process is concluded.
A spokesman said the so-called 'closure notices' did not mean the businesses would have to shut their doors to the public.
However, as a result of the notices, the restaurants will remain under scrutiny from Preston City Council and Lancashire Police, with any further breaches incurring a fine of £1,000 - an amount which would increase with any additional breaches.
Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation at Preston City Council, said: "We are disappointed to see these businesses not following the rules and staying open to walk in customers past 10pm.
"Our environmental health staff will continue to work hard with partners including Lancashire Police to help businesses in the city understand these new measures and we're grateful to the vast majority of businesses who are following the rules and doing everything they can to keep customers safe in difficult circumstances.
"These notices are not issued lightly, but we are taking this matter extremely seriously and will not hesitate to use our regulatory powers to protect the health of residents and ensure businesses sticking to the rules are not missing out by doing so."
The businesses were reportedly found to be breaking Covid regulations after Preston City Council and Lancashire Police visited premises throughout the city over the weekend.
Although food outlets must close to walk-in customers by 10pm, they may still offer delivery services to customers after this time.