Coronavirus: Thousands report businesses defying lockdown rules
May. 31, 2020
Enforcement officers in Cornwall have dealt with more than 2,000 complaints about businesses suspected of flouting lockdown rules.
Cornwall Council said it received 2,319 complaints between the end of March and 26 May.
Some were repeat complaints and 78% related to holiday accommodation.
The council said most businesses were quick to comply when asked to stop trading, but 60 businesses only stopped after a written warning.
In addition officers had to issue three formal closure notices.
Over a thousand of the complaints referred to businesses later found either to be compliant with the rules or exempt.
Enforcement officer Sarah-Jane Brown, who has been checking on reports of holiday accommodation operating in Newquay, said they were treating everyone fairly.
Image caption Sarah-Jane Brown from Cornwall Council's public protection team said everyone was treated fairly
She knocked on doors where visitors had been reported to be staying but found nobody home.
She called the owners of one property who later told her their son had been staying.
They were reminded of the rules banning stays at second homes and told they could face police action if it happened again.
The council said it had power to close businesses, including holiday accommodation, but had no power to require people to leave second homes, which was enforced by police.
The local authority said it had referred 217 second homes to Devon and Cornwall Police.
It comes as the force said out of the 50 fines issued over the Bank Holiday weekend for breaches of Covid-19 regulations, 38% related to overnight stays including second homes and campervans.
In Newquay, residents were split over the issue of visitors, with one man telling Ms Brown there were "not enough down here" and another saying people should "stay where they are".
Ms Brown also visited takeaway businesses in the town, checking they could cope.
Image caption Jess Davis said visitors were a controversial subject in Newquay
She was pleased with the steps taken at the Jam Jar Cafe.
Jess Davis, who works there said visitors were a "controversial subject".
"We are not hostile to them at all, we just want it to be safe," she said.