Takeaway owner hit with £1,000 fine for coronavirus regulations breach
An East Durham takeaway owner has admitted breaching coronavirus regulations.
Zhi Quiang Guo, owner of the Golden Wok Chinese takeaway in Blackhall, has been fined after pleading guilty to a charge of trading outside regulated hours when coronavirus restrictions were in place.
Officers from Durham County Council’s Covid Compliance Team, which visits businesses across the county to ensure they are complying with coronavirus rules, went to the shop Wok in the village’s Middle Street on Saturday, October 17 last year.
Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that officers visited the premises at 10.40pm, when they were able to place an order at the counter.
They advised the member of staff who served them that the regulations in place at the time said the takeaway should only offer deliveries after 10pm due to it being in a Tier Two area.
The man identified himself to officers as Zhi Quiang Guo, the owner of the business.
He was given a fixed penalty notice for £1,000 on October 23, but the penalty was not paid.
Guo subsequently pleaded guilty by post to the offence of carrying on a restricted business between the hours of 10pm and 5am in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(All Tiers)(England) Regulations 2020.
The court gave him credit for his early guilty plea and took into account his means when deciding sentence.
Guo, 45, of Middle Street in Blackhall, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £130 and a victim surcharge of £34.
Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s public protection manager, said anyone who breached the regulations should know they faced the risk of legal action, adding: “Coronavirus restrictions were put in place to minimise the spread of the disease and we are pleased that the vast majority of businesses complied with the legislation,” he said.
"However, this is an example of when it was necessary to take action against those who chose not to follow the rules.
“We want to work with all businesses in assisting them in complying with the law, but we hope that this prosecution serves as a warning that we will take action when required.”