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More enforcement needed in Romford as businesses ‘flagrantly ignore’ mask rule, CCG says

The clinical commissioning group, which runs Havering’s GPs and surgeries, is calling for more action to enforce the mask rule. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

The clinical commissioning group, which runs Havering’s GPs and surgeries, is calling for more action to enforce the mask rule. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

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The clinical commissioning group, which runs Havering’s GPs and surgeries, is calling for more action to enforce the mask rule.

Steve Rubery from Barking, Havering and Redbridge CCGs addressed a council health and wellbeing meeting on Wednesday, September 23 and asked what the council would do about enforcing coronavirus legislation.

He said national businesses in Romford are “flagrantly ignoring the rules around face coverings” and that he had seen many people in the Liberty Shopping Centre without a mask.

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Council leader councillor Damian White (Con, Squirrels Heath) replied that the council’s enforcement powers are “unfortunately limited”.

He said: “We have, as of last week, directed officers to start making unannounced visits to licensed premises across the borough to instil a sense of compliance.

“The council is trying to support and encourage businesses to adopt the relevant guidelines rather than go too heavy-handed on enforcement.

“Ultimately the council does not have the ability, nor does the police, to have blanket enforcement.”

There were 75 new cases in Havering this week, compared to 86 last week, and the rate of infection is 32 per 100,000 people. For local lockdowns across the country, in most cases the rate has been around 40 before tighter restrictions are imposed. In Redbridge the infection rate is 55.

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