Thanet council takes action against businesses flouting closure regulations


Fourteen warning letters have been issued and two Immediate Prohibition Notices served following reports that premises are defying regulations and staying open. In some cases, there have been reports of pub ‘lock ins’, encouraging people to defy the social distancing guidelines. A further Immediate Prohibition notice is being served today (March 31) to enforce a closure.

The National Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 make it an offence for many types of businesses including pubs, clubs and bars to stay open in the current pandemic. It also allows authorities to take tough action against any premises in breach of the rules.

Deputy council leader Cllr Helen Whitehead said: “We should all be following the instructions from the Government to ‘Stay Home and Save Lives’. It is therefore disappointing to have to take action against three local businesses who have ignored these measures and are still operating from their premises.

“These businesses and the people using them are potentially risking their own lives and the lives of others. It is our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in society and reduce the strain on our incredibly hardworking medical professionals who are risking themselves daily to care for us. Following these guidelines is imperative if we are to help them, and I ask anyone considering unnecessary gatherings or journeys to think of the most vulnerable person they know, and their right to protection, before doing anything that could endanger others.

“With the Easter bank holiday coming up, businesses should be aware that our Environmental Health team is working closely with Kent Police, monitoring the situation and responding to any allegations made. It has never been more important for people to follow the government’s advice to protect us all and save lives.

“We won’t hesitate to use the powers we have to stop this kind of activity and ensure that local businesses act in a responsible manner. It is our duty to protect the public and we will continue to do so.”

Thanet District Council is the first authority in Kent to take enforcement action. When an allegation against a premises is received the Public Protection and Licensing team issue a warning letter explaining that there is a suspicion and stating that it will carry out further investigations.

If the council finds the premises has or continues to flout the current legislation, they will be served with an Immediate Prohibition Notice. They may also be liable for an unlimited fine, a Fixed Penalty Notice or face prosecution. In the case of licensed premises, they will be referred to the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee where they could have their licence to supply alcohol removed.

Thanet council has not named the businesses involved.

Anyone with information about premises in breach of the regulations can report it confidentially on 101 or 01843 577000 or email the team on [email protected].


  1. tell that to the people out there constantly buying booze
    tell that to people who are just coming next door because they are builders and one has a really persistent cough

    tell that to the drunks on our streets

  2. I have to go to work as I am a key worker

    can you tell me if you are going to de-sanitise Northdown Road or any Road because you should be but you do not care about sanisation of streets and keeping our streets rid of germs

    so get to work on sanitisation TDC

    • In these very difficult times, I think you will find that very busy and hard working front line Council workers that are still working, risking taking home Coronavirus to their families. Are a bit busy emptying bins and picking up rubbish on the ground. To be spraying disinfectant about, or pointlessly wasting water hosing the streets. I can not see how any of that will stop the people catching any virus. Unless you like licking the pavement.

      • Because the bottom of your shoes could pick up the virus. Then you take your shoes off with your HANDS! Common sense.

        • Even if the council had time to wash every pavement and road in Thanet every hour. You should still wash your hands after you take your shoes off. I have always washed my hands when I take my dirty shoes off.

  3. Surely the infringements should be dealt with instantly and the offenders fined and dispersed immediately ?

    Tho offence continues until the letter is produced and sent by the Council – by which time it is too late as anybody locked in the offending premises with the virus will have already passed it on to everybody else.

    The words “stable door” and “horse bolted” come to mind . . .

  4. When Boris Johnson and his team publicly flaunt the regulations and Prince Charles drives to his holiday home against the guidance is it any wonder that some feel why should they be any different. Dominic Cummings runs off down Downing Street after being in contact with a known case. And how many doctors in self isolation could have been brought back to the front line had the tests that the PM and his entourage took up. I’m sick of these lying charlatons – they spend 10 years destroying the NHS and then pretend that they’re the greatest.

    • I’m with you Angry Victim one rule for them and another for us. Hey what’s new. So angry to see Johnson clapping the NHS when his lot cheered when those same workers wre not given a pay rise – oh don’t start me

  5. TDC should not pussy-foot about over this pandemic with regulations. Instant fines and the removal of licenses for good should be standard not “could happen” We need to be strong with warnings and enforcement as being weak just encourages it to carry on. Take a look down Northdown Road, how busy it still is with lockdown. Dirty people spitting phelm all over the pavements and no signs of any disinfectant spraying like other countries. No signs of any enforcement whatsoever. Some people out every day thinking the rules don’t mean to apply to them.

  6. Totally agree with other corispondents their are people who spit on the pavements in Margate as well I am surprised that disinfecting the streets are not a priority as in the rest of the world it’s probably not been done in any town and city in the rest of the country you only have to look at London that has the highest population you don’t see that happening you do not see that on the media.

  7. Stop messing about wasting more money with letters, driving around taking up manpower, if a business is flouting the law deal with it there and then, you don’t see murderers being sent a caution letter

  8. How is wasting money on letters etc dealing with the issue, businesses flouting laws, ignoring social distancing, shut the business immediately send the wrongdoers on community service in the hospitals dealing with covid patients

  9. It shouldn’t just be businesses being fined but also people ignoring the so-called ‘lockdown’ rules, I work in a post office and incredibly since the lockdown we have got busier, the amount of mail we are getting is just like Christmas, with more people at home now we are getting so many online sellers visiting us EVERY day with loads of post. I am getting really annoyed with customers ignoring the govt rules, It’s the same on our shop side of our business, people are coming in two or three times EVERY day to buy only one or two items and non-essential items, THIS MUST STOP.
    what should we do?, tell them to stop coming in and go away and get verbally abused!

  10. Flowing the comments by post office worker my local one in Margate is in Smith’s Margate they have cut their hours by closing earlier how can they be worried they have screens protecting them do the same as supermarkets put markers on the floor to keep people apart they call that social distincing. As some post offices are banks they should be open.there is probably some people using this to go to work this service is a neccisty for everyone.

  11. Maybe the post office can place signs stating they are only open for essential items and reserve the right to refuse a sale of non essential items and or to a 2nd or more visit in one day from the same person. As for non essential businesses being open, this should be classed as attempted murder,take their licence and board up the premises. Most of these are only adding to alcoholics addictions and encouraging it for the money and will probably still claim from the government saying they weren’t open. Northdown Road is a very troubled area and taking licenses away and fining groups caught hanging out in public would certainly see a change for the better. A fine for spitting in public and police to enforce it would help too. Disgusting habit.

  12. Replying Lisa you are right as bank branches are closing down permanently the post office serves as a bank as well many people pay there bills their top up there power cards there that is essential not everybody uses cards to pay bills the post office at Smith’s in Margate is run by Smith’s they could close off access to the books etc it is a necessity to get access to your money.

  13. I have just survived one of the most horrendous weeks of my long life, because someone defied the government instructions and opened his dental practice for me! Last Sunday morning I woke with a screaming toothache, and if you have never had a toothache it is akin to having a broken bone in your mouth!

    I contacted NHS 111, NHS Dental Line, my own Dentist, and Kent Community Dental Line, and they all said Dental Practices have been instructed to close down, and only prescribe anti-biotics if someone has swelling, or an abscess, and paracetamol! I am over 70 so the government expecting me to survive on a liquid diet, in great pain, and sleepless, for the next ten or twelve weeks, is heartless!

    I contacted my GP surgery for stronger painkillers, and was told as its a dental matter, they couldn’t prescribe painkillers! So back to 111 etc, who said they can’t prescribe pain killers, only anti-biotics, Duurh!

    I contacted several private dental practices, and only two got back to me, one declined, and the other said he was very angry the government has closed down every dental practice, because he has had to send home all his staff, who must claim 80% of their previous salary! He also said all dentists are trained and equipped to treat contagious patients! In the event he did extract the two teeth, under conditions of strict confidentiality!

    The government has not thought this blanket ban through! So I contacted the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and much to my surprise someone phoned the next day! She said she absolutely agreed with me that this government policy had not been thought through properly, and she had been tasked to do something about it!

    There must be thousands of people nationally who are suffering excruciating tooth pain , and if they are over 70 facing weeks of torture, unable to sleep, or eat, who have been abandoned to a government policy that is not just heartless, but stupid! It can only be hoped the CQC are successful, swiftly!

  14. I use my dentist at the lower end of Margate high street old town I walk past every day having excersise are they meant to be open as the lights are on sometimes I am a bit later and I see staff coming out of the premises I noticed their shutter is part down from the top are they meant to be open.

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