A beauty salon which denied that Covid-19 exists has been shut down.
Sefton Council has now issued a warning to other businesses in the borough saying they will not hesitate to close other businesses which fail to ensure staff and customers are kept safe from Coronavirus.
The local authority made several visits and issued warnings to the owners of Skinn Kerr, on Aintree Road in Bootle, while Merseyside Police officers were also called out.
The salon faced a huge public backlash after the owners displayed a poster in its window and on its Facebook page, which contained a series of bullet points stating: “Covid Free Salon; no masks, we take cash; covid talk is banned; you can’t catch what doesn’t exist.”
The bullet points end with ‘#voodoovirusisbullsh**’ and ‘#wedonotconsent’ and states “please respect the rules of the salon.”
After making several visits and issuing a warning letter Sefton Council last week issued a Closure Notice to the owner of Skin Kerr in Bootle.
Visits to the premises by the Council’s Environmental Health team raised concerns that current restrictions and public health guidance were not being adhered to, meaning customers and staff were being put at risk from infection by Covid-19.
Because the adequate controls and measures required to make the premises Covid-secure were not put in place, despite being set out in a recent warning letter, the council has moved to close the premises temporarily.
Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “It is the responsibility of businesses across Sefton to ensure they have the required measures in place to protect their staff and their customers from Covid-19 infection and we know that most of them are doing their utmost to comply.
“And, the council is working closely with the Health and Safety Executive to provide support and advice to our local businesses.
“However, when businesses refuse to comply and insist on putting people at risk from the pandemic, we will not hesitate to take action against them as we have with Skin Kerr in Bootle.”
Further to its work with businesses, begun at the start of the pandemic in March, Sefton Council has been working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since mid-September, to help Sefton’s businesses make sure they are Covid-secure. Phone calls and follow-up visits are being carried out with businesses in the hospitality, beauty and hairdressing and the warehousing sectors.
During these checks, businesses are being provided with advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.
When the joint initiative was launched, Cllr Lappin said: “Becoming Covid-secure is a legal duty and needs to be the priority and we know the vast majority of our local businesses are trying hard to get this right by putting the necessary measures in place.
“We appreciate the efforts business owners and managers are making and have undertaken this work with the HSE to provide any further advice and support they may need.”
Sefton Council also recently reminded businesses of the need to create a QR code for their premises which people can use to check in on the national Covid-19 app, by visiting www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster and following the instructions.
Businesses required by law to display QR code posters include pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades and close contact services such as hairdressers, barber shops and tailors.
Council facilities such as community centres, libraries and village halls are also covered as are places of worship, community organisations with a physical location and events taking place at a specific location.