Coronavirus: Barbers and hairdressers among Brent businesses ‘likely’ to be flouting lockdown rules says council

PUBLISHED: 13:05 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:05 21 May 2020

Brent Trading Standards in a Harlesden shop. Picture: Brent Council

Brent Trading Standards in a Harlesden shop. Picture: Brent Council


Barbers, hairdressers, beauty salons, vape and mobile phone shops are the businesses most likely to be breaking covid rules.

Between March 16 and May 16 Brent Council received 309 Covid-19 related complaints from the public and 156 of those complaints were about business opening when they shouldn’t be open, and a further 66 complaints were related to social distancing breaches.

There were also 67 complaints from shoppers who claimed retailers were exploiting them with unreasonable price hikes during the crisis.

Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council’s lead member for community safety and engagement, said: “Most London businesses have so far respected the law on businesses closures and we need them to keep on going until it is safe to re-open.

“But there are still some in the minority flouting the new laws and to-date we have served 14 prohibition notices, served 20 warning letters and visited 208 businesses.

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“Businesses are playing a critical role in the Covid-19 response and it is extremely important that they continue to abide by the law and protect the public.

“We would also urge those businesses that have been allowed to stay open, to treat customers with fairness and not inflate prices at this difficult time.

“Our enforcement teams will continue to work with the public who are our ‘eyes and ears’ so that we can keep everyone safe through this pandemic and into recovery.”

According to data from London Trading Standards (LTS), just 2 per cent of businesses across London’s 33 boroughs visited over the past two months have been told to close.

A total 38,808 businesses have been visited and advised on either closure or social distancing since lockdown; 739 were failing to comply with the rules, 529 closed voluntarily but 262 were forced to close after being served with a Prohibition Notice.

LTS operations director, Stephen Knight, added: “Whilst the vast majority of businesses have so far complied with the law, we are seeing an increasing number of businesses attempting to open illegally as the lockdown goes on.

“Borough trading standards officers are working extremely hard to help businesses find ways to trade safely, where possible within the rules. However, enforcement action will be taken where necessary to keep Londoners safe.”

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