Three shops on a street handed improvement notices for rule breaches

Three grocery shops have been handed improvement notices after inspectors discovered breaches of coronavirus regulations.

The Baltica Supermarket, Asia Halal Foodstore, and Pill Mini Market, all located on Commercial Street in the Pillgwenlly area of Newport, were issued with notices on Thursday.

Newport City Council inspectors said the shops’ managers failed to comply with obligations imposed on retailers to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus.

All three have been directed to take actions to improve compliance within 48 hours, or they may face further action.

The Welsh Government announced a strengthening of rules for supermarkets, shops and workplaces in Wales earlier this month.

Retailers must now by law:

  • Have signs visible to help people keep their distance and make their way around the store.
  • Have sanitiser available for hands and trolleys.

  • Have systems in place to limit the number of people who can be in store at any one time.

A council enforcement officer visited the three grocery shops on Commercial Street on Thursday.

At the Baltika Supermarket, the inspector said he observed insufficient signage on display inside the premises reminding customers to observe two-metre social distancing, and to wear face coverings.

Staff members were seen not wearing facial coverings, and no hand sanitiser was available for customer use.

The Asia Halal Foodstore was found to have insufficient signage reminding customers of social distancing and the wearing of face masks.

There was also insufficient flood markings indicating the two-metre rule, and there was no hand sanitiser available for customer use.

Video Loading

Pill Mini Market was also found to have insufficient signage and floor marking indicating the two-metre rule, as well as signs reminding customers to wear a face covering.

There was no hand sanitiser available for customers and staff were observed not wearing face covering or wearing them incorrectly.

Local authorities in Wales have had the power to take action against businesses or premises who are believed not to be adhering to coronavirus guidelines since August last year.

As well as an improvement notice, businesses can also be issued with a closure order, which last for 14 days unless withdrawn.

According to the Welsh Government, reasons for taking action include a lack of implementing social distancing, staff not adhering to guidelines including the wearing of face coverings, or lack of prominent display of coronavirus signage and hand sanitiser.

An additional 40 pubs, restaurants and shops in Newport have been either closed or warned over coronavirus rule breaches so far.

For Newport news straight to your inbox, sign up to our NewportOnline daily newsletter, here.

WalesOnline – Wales News