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Published: Monday, 23rd March 2020

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is urging all businesses to trade in line with government guidance. 

Local and national reports are being received of: 

  • trading in contrary to directions to close 
  • sale of goods not in line with either safety or manufacturer requirements 
  • unreasonable price hiking 

Such behaviour is unethical and can put the public at greater risk whilst we all try to stop the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Council is monitoring such reports, and as far is possible, will intervene to protect public safety and the rights of consumers. We will work the Police and other agencies as is necessary.

Robust enforcement powers are being introduced to enable local authorities, supported by the police, to take action to deal with non-compliance with directions to close. Other powers are or may become available to deal with other unacceptable trading practices.

Licensed premises who are found to be operating illegally may also be subject to review of their licence. 

Please note: some food and beverage premises may still able to trade by providing takeaway and delivery services and not allowing consumption of food or drink on site. 

Any trading concerns can be reported to: tradingstandards@royalgreenwich.gov.uk 

We encourage email contact wherever possible at this time due to current staffing levels. Out of normal office hours, please contact: 020 8854 8888, or call the police in an emergency. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are also monitoring profiteering and have set up an online reporting tool. We would encourage this to be used for national chains particularly, whilst issues relating to local independent retailers should still be reported to the Council's Trading Standards team first.

All reports received will be assessed and prioritised. The authorities may not be able to act in every situation depending on the circumstances, and the legislation and evidence available.  

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council said: "Local businesses have a critical role to play in keeping our residents and communities safe. As well as trading ethically and responsibly, all of us have a responsibility to support the vulnerable and take steps to ensure social distancing is applied and reinforced in public places". 

Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Children Services & Community Safety said: "Keeping people safe is our priority during  this terrible pandemic. As a local authority, we will take a dim view of anyone looking to take advantage of this current crisis or put people at greater risk. We will use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to enforce against such individuals or organisations".

Find more information about business and other venues subject to social distancing measures.