ANOTHER four businesses have been caught breaching coronavirus guidelines in Bridgend county borough.
Officers from the Shared Regulatory Service (SRS) gave improvement notices to a Pizza Hut restaurant, Subway restaurant, Chinese takeaway, and convenience store in Bridgend between Thursday, January 28 and Friday, January 29.
Documents published on the SRS website reveal Pizza Hut (The Triangle Shopping Centre, Brackla), Subway (South Cornelly), The Golden Bowl (Nolton St, Bridgend), and Garn Stores (Maesteg) were given improvement notices because the staff were not wearing face masks.
The SRS is a partnership between South Wales Police and Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils, which carries out checks on licensed premises to ensure they comply with government guidelines.
The SRS declined to explain exactly why each business was given a notice and the number of staff caught breaching the rules in each of the premises.
A spokesperson for Bridgend County Borough Council said: “Each of the businesses concerned are given advice on compliance at the time of the officer’s visit, based on their particular circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Subway said: “All Subway stores in the UK and Ireland are owned and operated by independent franchisees who are responsible for compliance with all applicable laws and government guidance.
“We take the health and safety of our guests and staff very seriously and require all franchisees to adhere to all rules to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“We will contact the franchisee of this store to ensure that they are doing so.
“In line with government guidance, Subway asks all guests to wear face coverings and practice social distancing when in-store.”
A spokesperson for Pizza Hut said: “We have investigated this incident and found it to be an isolated circumstance.
“We are retraining the team to ensure all health and safety guidelines are maintained consistently. For team members exempted from wearing masks for health reasons, we will ensure they use a face shield.
“The health and wellbeing of our team members remain our top priority; we maintain enhanced safety measures to protect our staff and customers and we are following all government guidelines.
“We work closely with our franchisees to ensure this guidance is always followed and we’re incredibly proud of our team members who are working so hard during this challenging time.”
Businesses are usually given 48 hours to comply with the terms of an improvement notice. Failure to comply can result in closure, a fixed penalty notice, or being taken to court.
The SRS has issued 58 improvement notices to businesses in Bridgend county borough and temporarily closed four for breaching Welsh Government coronavirus rules.
So far no businesses in the area have been permanently closed for breaching the regulations.
According to the Welsh Government website, everyone over the age of 11 must wear a mask unless they are exempt. The website reads: “It applies to staff working in indoor public areas and to members of the public entering those public areas.
“Masks must be worn in all indoor public places and on public transport including shops and shopping centres, places of worship, restaurants, pubs and cafes (until customers are seated).”
The government website states staff working in indoor public spaces must wear masks “if they are in an area accessible to the public”.
It also states staff who are not facing the public may also need to wear face coverings “if physical distancing cannot be maintained”.
For example, employers may require staff to wear masks indoors “as a reasonable measure to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus on the premises unless there are strong reasons not to”.