Wiltshire Council was forced to use its legal powers to ensure a garden centre complies with the COVID-19 regulations in place.
Whitehall Garden Centre has attracted a significant number of visitors in recent weeks, creating parking problems in the area and potentially increasing the spread of coronavirus due to large volumes of people visiting at that same time, making it difficult to socially distance.
On 30 November, the firm was issued a Direction Order. Issued under the Local Authority Powers to Impose Restrictions: Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) Regulations 2020, it instructs the management of the garden centre to comply with a number of directions, including review car parking arrangements, implement more measures to ensure customers can visit in a COVID secure way such as an improved queuing system, floor markings and one-way system; increase staff training and much more careful monitoring of customer numbers on the premises.
The requirements set out in the Order will be in effect until midnight on 31 December 2020 or until varied or revoked before then by the council.
Superintendent Dave Minty of Wiltshire Police said: “The current COVID legislation permits local authorities to impose certain restrictions in response to a serious or imminent threat to public health and to prevent COVID transmission.
“Wiltshire Council have been in consultation with us regarding this matter and, now the direction order has been made, we will support them to ensure the restrictions detailed in the order are adhered to.
“We will continue to work closely with the local authority, partners and local businesses to provide guidance and support in these difficult times. These powers are however in place to protect public health and to stop the spread of COVID and we would like to thank the vast majority of our businesses who continue to work hard to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus and abide by the regulations laid out by Government.”
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