Council investigators have seized equipment from a barbers and ordered the business to close – after twice catching it breaking lockdown rules.
Trading standards officers swooped on the premises for a second time in a week after seeing a customer leaving the salon on Wednesday – and discovering hair in a bin.
The business – which is in the Longton area – had already been served with a prohibition notice which ordered it to stay closed to stop the potential spread of coronavirus.
But the barbers was back open again this week and concerned members of the public shopped them to Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Now the business is waiting to find out whether it will be slapped with a fine or taken to court.
It is the first time the council has raided a business for the non-compliance of coronavirus legislation. Latest Government information says hair salons cannot reopen until July 4 at the earliest.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “This is the first seizure of equipment for non-compliance with lockdown legislation. Our teams have taken hairdressing and haircutting equipment to prevent the premises from operating, and are investigating the incident in detail, with the potential to issue a fine and to prosecute.
“We do not take these actions lightly. The vast majority of businesses across the city have complied with the legislation. In doing so they are helping to stop the spread of coronavirus and are saving lives.
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“But we take a very dim view of businesses that flout the law. We will act on information from the public, we are pro-actively advising and visiting premises and we will take action on lawbreakers. Businesses must only trade if they are legally able to do so. Do not break the rules and risk spreading the infection.
“We do appreciate that the easing of the lockdown rules can be a concern for businesses. If any businesses are in doubt, we are able to give further advice as to what they can and cannot do, and the measures they can take to be compliant with the legislation if they are able to open.”