POLICE will take action against any pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants that don’t adhere to the Government’s orders to close during the coronavirus pandemic, while the fire service says now is the most important time to think about home fire safety.
Venues were ordered to shut down after Friday night as part of the new guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – but can still operate a takeaway service.
Theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres were also given the same instruction as part of the social-distancing measures which advise against social interactions and recommend people keep at least two metres apart when outside.
South Yorkshire Police said it was now an offence for these types of businesses to remain open and the public may be concerned about premises that go against the measures.
“We want to reassure you that we will listen to your concerns, and, where necessary, visit these premises and ensure the owner, proprietor or manager is complying with the legislation,” said a force spokeswoman.
Supt Paul McCurry said: “On Friday, the Prime Minister confirmed that pubs and clubs would be closed from Saturday.
“Only premises that offer a takeaway service are permitted to remain open and even then steps must be taken to ensure nothing is consumed on the premises.
“This is now a 'Statutory Instrument', making it an offence. These measures are necessary to ensure social distance and to protect our communities and the NHS from Covid-19.
“The police will respond to reports that any premises remain open to ensure compliance with the legislation.”
South Yorkshire’s firefighters are also calling on people to take extra steps to keep themselves safe from fire while they are self-isolating or working from home, saying “it’s never been more important to think about fire safety”.
Crews are continuing to respond to 999 emergencies as normal but senior fire officers are keen to limit potentially avoidable call outs.
“We’re certainly not trying to panic anyone here – nor take away from the very important health advice – as our firefighters are continuing to respond to calls as normal,” said Matt Gillatt, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s head of the joint police and fire community safety team.
“What we are doing, though, is asking people who are spending more time than normal at home to have a think about fire safety and take on board some of our advice.
“Simple steps – like making sure you’ve got working smoke alarms – can make a huge difference in terms of how safe you and your family are at home.”
The service has four key tips – based on the leading causes of accidental house fire across South Yorkshire:
- Don’t leave cooking unattended and stop using chip pans – oven chips are safer
- Don’t leave clothes/towels near heaters, hobs, or candles
- Make sure your electrical items are in working order and don’t use faulty white goods
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them weekly
As part of SYFR’s new ‘Keep Fire Safe’ campaign – which has been developed in light of the pandemic – fire service staff will be posting safety advice booklets to homes in certain areas across the county in the coming weeks.
The campaign will also see the launch of a poster drawing competition for kids and an online safety quiz.
“We’d love to see as many people take part in these two competitions as possible. Not only will it give the kids something to do, it will open up really important conversations about fire safety,” added Matt.
“Hopefully we can put a smile on some faces, too. We’ve got prizes on offer for both kids and adults which should be reason enough for people to enter!”
For more home safety information for people who are self-isolating, working from home and generally social distancing, vist www.syfire.gov.uk/keepfiresafe.