Covid-19: Bradford salon fined £17,000 for lockdown opening

Image caption,
The salon has opened at least twice over the November lockdown

A hair salon owner is facing £17,000 in fines for repeatedly opening in breach of Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Sinead Quinn was working at Quinn Blakey Hairdressers in Oakenshaw, Bradford, on Saturday when Kirklees Council officers issued a £4,000 fine.

The council found the salon open again on Monday and issued a further £10,000 fine. It already had £1,000 and £2,000 fines for previous breaches.

Ms Quinn said on Instagram she did not consent to or accept the fines.

The salon owner posted videos on the social networking site which show her talking to council officials and police, saying she had not broken any laws.

On the video, she is heard saying: "I don't consent to any fines, so it will just be returned to sender."

Image caption,
A similar sign to the one on the salon door, which references Magna Carta

She had also displayed a poster on the salon door which refers to Magna Carta, and says the shop is "under the jurisdiction of common law".

England is currently in a national lockdown with strict rules which say non-essential shops, including hairdressers, must close.

A council spokesman confirmed the fines, saying it had found the business to be "open and trading".

'Devastating period'

The first was on 9 November, when a prohibition notice to close was served and £1,000 fine issued, and the second on 12 November, when a £2,000 fine was imposed.

The council said in a statement: "We completely understand how tough it has been, and continues to be, for local businesses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We will do all we can to support them through what has been a devastating period, but it is absolutely crucial for people's safety that we all follow the latest Covid-19 rules and guidance."

It added Kirklees had the fifth highest rate in the country, with 135 hospital admissions last week and 25 people dying with coronavirus.

The council said it was now "in the process of exploring alternative action".

West Yorkshire Police said it was a matter for the council.

Correction 27 November 2020: In an earlier version of this report we said the salon had been fined £27,000 based on information from Kirklees Council which was later corrected.

The council said Quinn Blakey had been found to be open on Tuesday 24 November, but it later transpired there were no clients in the salon, so a £10,000 fine was not issued on that occasion.

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