COVID 19 - incident reporting

Have you received a scam phone call? Are you aware of a business that is operating and should not be? Have you seen websites offering fake cures or have you received fake face marks? Please tell us about it.

Trading Standards and COVID-19

We are in a national lockdown.

For information on the new tiers and what this means for you, please visit the Government website.

Concerns regarding businesses which remain open when they should be closed, social distancing, issues regarding the non wearing of face masks by staff in businesses or any other Covid-19 related issue, should be sent by e-mail to CovidConcern@milton-keynes.gov.uk.

Business and venues

Businesses and venues which must close

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of businesses required to close can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises) and delivery services.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts,fitness and dance studios, riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses. Public playgrounds and allotments may remain open.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife centres)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities. A full list of exemptions can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but includes:

  • education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for those children eligible to attend
  • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)

In order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 we would like to be informed of Milton Keynes businesses that are open, when they should be closed. To report a business please use contact Covidconcern@milton-keynes.gov.uk

If you are a business and would like advice on the Regulations please do not hesitate to contact us by email.

 

Face Coverings - The wearing of face coverings is still compulsory when you are in shops (or shopping centres) or moving around inside venues such as bars and restaurants.

Trading standards are experiencing a number of issues with illegal face masks being sold in this country. Face masks and face coverings are treated differently.

A face mask that is presented as personal protective equipment must carry the CE mark - this means it has been independently tested to ensure it meets the legal standard. If you see KN95 or Chinese standard number GB2626 on your mask, these masks have not been independently tested and it is illegal to sell them in this country. If you do have one, you can use it as a face covering if you wish, but if you have purchased any to sell, you should return them to your supplier for a refund immediately.

If you have bought a face mask which does not carry the CE Mark you can report it to us using the link to our 'Report-it' form at the bottom of this page.

We are also receiving information about face masks which carry the CE Mark, but these claims have proven to be false, so the mask has not been independently tested. Again these masks are illegal. In order to reduce the risk of buying a 'fake' CE Marked mask, always buy from a reputable retailer.

If you are a small business or a manufacturer wishing to supply masks please read the Government guidance that you can find on their website.

Face coverings can be as simple as a scarf wrapped around the face but the government has issued some guidance if you are thinking of making a face covering at home which you can read on the .Gov.UK website

QR codes/Test and Trace. Businesses involved the following sectors are still required to register for a QR Code,  which must be displayed for a customer to scan as, or immediately after, they enter the premises. This is to assist with the NHS Test and Trace service.

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including community centres, libraries and village halls.

It has already been reported that some phones are not compatible with the system, and some people won't have a smart phone at all, so under those circumstances the business should ask for the name and phone number of the customer (this could be an email address if no phone number is available, or a postal address if neither a phone nor email is available), the date and time should be noted and the number of people in the group. 

The business should keep these details securely for 21 days, after which it should be destroyed. If disclosure is requested by the Secretary of State or the local Public Health Officer, the information must be provided (for the purposes of trying to reduce the spread of the virus).

A business has a legal obligation to refuse entry to customers who do not comply with the test and trace requirements. This means that the business can take reasonable steps to prevent entry into the premises.

Offences for breaching these requirements are punishable by fine on summary conviction or a fixed penalty charge notice ranging from £500 to £4000.

Please visit the .Gov.UK website for the full guidance

 

Scams - We would also like to hear about any scam business that 

  • appears to be making misleading claims in relation to Coronavirus, such as products or services which can cure COVID-19 (e.g. fake offers of a COVID-19 vaccine).
  • or falsely describing goods or services in relation to COVID-19. This could include selling goods that are not what they say they are, for example, hand sanitiser that appears to be counterfeit or traders selling protective face marks without a CE Mark on them (decorative face coverings do not need to have the CE mark unless the seller claims that they will protect you from viral or bacterial infection).
  • any caller falsely claiming to be associated with the NHS Test and Trace scheme, especially if they ask you for a payment or credit card details etc.

Report an incident -If you feel that you have been the victim of a scam related to COVID-19 and you need some assistance from a consumer advisor, you should instead contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on Freephone 0808 223 1133 or online. They will give advice and also pass the details you provide to Trading Standards.

Concerns regarding businesses which remain open when they should be closed, social distancing, issues regarding the non wearing of face masks by staff in businesses, or any other Covid-19 related issue should be sent by e-mail to CovidConcern@milton-keynes.gov.uk. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 9 February 2021