We’ve been supporting the initiative by visiting supermarkets and food shops to give advice and support on how they can keep their staff and customers safe, during the pandemic.
Sandwell Council’s Deputy leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “We set out a challenge to shops in Sandwell to make their businesses safer and we can now see the vast majority of shops have measures in place to help keep shoppers and their staff safe.
“It is heartening to see the majority of staff and shoppers are wearing face coverings and shops have clear signage to inform customers as they enter stores.
“For those shops still failing to meet the minimum standards, we are carrying out further inspections and will look to take further action in relation to those who continue to flout the rules.”
Andy Smith, Group Manager with West Midlands Fire Service, said: “We’ve been determined to play whatever part we can, with our partners, to support our communities and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re proud to be working with Sandwell Council and West Midlands Police on this initiative, which is all about keeping Sandwell businesses and residents safe. It’s great to see businesses acting on the help and advice we’ve been able to share.
“It’s the latest example of our staff being ready, willing and able to do whatever they can – from delivering thousands of food parcels, to training to be vaccinators.”
Superintendent Phil Asquith of Sandwell Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “Our officers are continuing to carry out patrol activity with the support of our partners as we work together to make public places, shops and supermarkets as safe as possible.
“As we all take on new changes and challenges, our officers will continue to engage, educate, encourage and where necessary enforce breaches of the Covid legislation. On occasions, when it is more appropriate for an alternative authority to step in, we will capture evidence of breaches and support wider enforcement by our partners.
“It still remains imperative that people stick to the rules to continue to help save lives.”
Officers will continue to carry out inspections and if customers have specific concerns about shops in Sandwell they can report this by emailing PHCovid19_Enquiries@sandwell.gov.uk.