I’VE been disappointed to see that at every stage of easing lockdown there have been businesses that just won’t act responsibly. For example, when we were told that shops with a door onto the street could open up on the Monday many just opened up on the previous Friday. Some large UK retailers opened up in line with their counterparts in England even though they were not yet permitted to do so in Scotland, while one local store which is part of a UK chain refused to enforce the regulations, claiming they are not for them to enforce.

One wonders why they choose to enforce some regulations but not others; perhaps because in most cases, such as selling alcohol or knives, there is a penalty to be paid for failing in their duty.

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On public transport it is the same, with operators putting up signs, making announcements or stating on social media that masks must be worn, yet pretty much every last one fails to enforce the so-called “mandatory” requirements. Now today we read that the First Minister has stated that some beer gardens were failing to fulfil their obligations to record the names of their customers so that track and trace can be carried out.

As with any other law or guideline, if there is no enforcement then compliance fails. Pretty much every body across the board is saying the same thing – “it’s not our responsibility to enforce these regulations” – so who’s responsibility is it?

If I’m in a shop or on public transport I want to know that they are acting responsibly and are putting our health before profit, or in some cases before personal politics. If the police are not going to enforce public health measures then surely we need a body which has the sole job of enforcing pandemic measures and which has the power to hand out appropriate fines both to individuals and more importantly businesses who are paying lip service to the regulations and turning a blind eye to them it suits them.

If this matter is not addressed then irresponsible businesses and individuals will continue to work against the public good and will greatly contribute to creating the next wave of coronavirus cases and deaths. That’s not a price worth paying.

Jim Cassidy