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Coronavirus: Ipswich barber fined for working with symptoms

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image captionAli Omar who owns the shop denies claims by the council his staff flouted Covid rules

An owner of a barber shop has been fined £1,000 for working with Covid-19 symptoms, a council said.

Ipswich Borough Council found City Art Turkish Barber breached mask-wearing rules, had no risk assessments and an inadequate tracing system.

The council said the owner, staff and customers had also failed to wear face coverings at the Carr Street business.

Owner Ali Omar denied the allegations and said his staff obeyed the Covid-19 rules.

"We have a CCTV camera and can show the shop all day, any day they like. All my staff have masks."

He also said protective screens had been in place for more than two months.

image captionIpswich Borough Council found City Art Turkish Barber breached several coronavirus rules

A council spokesman said: "NHS Test and Trace informed us that an employee from City Art Barbers had tested positive for coronavirus after experiencing symptoms on 4 October.

"That person self-isolated from 8 October so the period for concern about possible infection from them has passed weeks ago."

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Alasdair Ross, the council's portfolio holder for public protection, said: "We've all got to play our part in keeping coronavirus down in Ipswich.

"But if your business doesn't do this, you might be paying a big fine or even be closed down."

Richard Lambert, the chief executive of the National Hair and Beauty Federation, said most businesses understood the "importance of keeping themselves and their clients and colleagues safe".

Janene Bush, who owns hair salons and a barber shop in Suffolk, said it made her "cross" to hear other people in her industry were breaching the rules.

She also questioned whether a £1,000 fine was a "level playing field" when students were being fined £10,000 for holding house parties.

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