ALMOST a hundred complaints have been made by the public about alleged breaches of coronavirus rules at the city's pubs and restaurants.

Worcester City Council said it has received 94 complaints about 51 different businesses for breaching Covid rules since the city went into lockdown in March.

The number has increased from the 74 complaints received more than a fortnight ago.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) had originally said the 74 complaints made earlier in September were against 63 different businesses but that number has now been revised to 51 as it included shops and hairdressers rather than just pubs, bars and restaurants.

A spokesman for the city council said: “WRS officers, in partnership with Worcester City Council, have been working with businesses as each layer of the lockdown has been removed, to provide advice on Covid security.

"When allegations of breaches of the Covid rules have been received, WRS officers have investigated and have worked with businesses to ensure they get it right.

"If a business is found to be consistently breaking the rules we have the power to take formal action such as issuing fines and, in extreme cases, closing their premises."

Wychavon District Council said it received 48 complaints about businesses breaching Covid rules since going into lockdown in March and Malvern Hills District Council said it received 18 complaints during the same period.

However, those complaints were made to Environmental Health rather than the licensing department so are not comparable with Worcester.

A spokesman for both district councils said the complaints covered a wide range of businesses including supermarkets, pubs, food producers, garden centres and caravan sites.

The spokesman added the number of complaints made did not mean lack of compliance, only that a complaint had been made. The 'majority' of complaints were said to be "unproven" according to the councils, and " a lot" of businesses that had problems were "misunderstandings of interpretation."

The council added that generally, businesses had worked hard to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Councils have the power to fine businesses not following social distancing rules and can also shut pubs and restaurants down in extreme circumstances. No fines have yet been issued by any of the councils.

The latest restrictions means pubs, bars and restaurants must offer table service only and close at 10pm. Face masks are now mandatory except when sitting at a table.