BUSINESSES continuing to flout Government coronavirus instructions have been told to close - or face action.

Southend Council, Essex Police and Southend’s director of public health have written directly to the businesses warning of further enforcement, including fines, if they fail to comply.

However, the council has not named the companies targeted.

In addition, those businesses opening legitimately - such as takeaways and food outlets offering delivery services - have also been told to ensure strict social distancing measures are in place.

Kevin Robinson, a cabinet member on Southend Council, said: “The closures have rightly been put in place due to the required social distancing measures to protect the health, well-being and lives of our residents as we try to reduce the speed of the spread and impact of coronavirus and the rise in mortality.

“While the majority of businesses have taken notice and have been responsible in closing premises, it has been apparent that the Government’s direction has not been applied across all businesses.

“Some businesses that are able to remain open are also not properly considering the need for social distancing measures.

“These measures are in place for a reason and the ability for us to socially distance ourselves will have significant impact.

“However, it needs to happen immediately, and we need to ensure that people standing in queues and outside shops that are exempted from closure are actively asking customers to keep 2 metres apart.”

The categories of of businesses ordered to close by ministers include:

  • Restaurants, including those in hotels or members’ clubs (an exception for restaurants and pubs providing food for take-away and delivery)
  • Cafés, including workplace canteens, bars, bars in hotels or members’ clubs and pubs
  • Cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, bingo halls, concert halls, museums and art galleries.
  • Casinos, betting shops, spas, massage parlours.
  • indoor skating rinks, indoor fitness studios, gyms, pools or other indoor leisure centres
  • Retail premises including hair, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours, hotels, hostels, B&Bs.