Use of second homes & power to close businesses that are not permitted to be open

Apr 15, 2020 | Community News Post

South Hams District Council’s Environmental Health Specialists are now authorised under ‘The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020’:

This is a dual role with Devon County Trading Standards that gives the District Council the power to close businesses that are not permitted to be open (listed in a schedule to the Regulations).

Regulation 5 of the 2020 Regultions does not permit the use of holiday accommodation, which includes rentals, campsites etc.  Some exemptions apply – these are mainly for key workers and those that would be made homeless otherwise.  Therefore, the Council does have the ability to close businesses if required.

The schedule to the Regulations does not include second homes, so therefore the only sanction that may be taken is by the Police, who enforce the movement restriction part of the same legislation. Where the District Council receives complaints of this nature, they are forwarded to the Police.

Feedback from the Police is that the extensive communications campaign that was carried out before the Easter holidays was successful in stopping the vast majority of people from travelling.  Most holiday booking businesses have stopped taking bookings.  Some holiday lets are being used to house key workers and this can cause some confusion. The Police also carried out visible patrols on routes into the South West.

To report concerns about a business that is opening, but should not be, please use

Police non-urgent reporting 101 or