A SHOP in Droitwich has been ordered to close after a video was widely shared on social media showing police officers warning them about lockdown rules.

The video shows West Mercia Police officers telling the owners of Grace Books and Cards in Droitwich they could lose their licence and be shut down if they do not abide by coronavirus restrictions.

This is because the shop has remained open during the second lockdown.

Chief superintendent Paul Moxley said the shop had been told by the council "they should not be open with current restrictions" and had been handed a prohibition notice.

He said: "We remain hugely sympathetic to the difficult times that business owners, particularly small and independent businesses, are having to endure.

"None of my officers, and I’m sure no one in Wychavon District Council, joined our chosen professions anticipating that we would have to enforce Government rules such as this however it is the role of both our organisations to ensure that the current legislation is complied with to reduce the opportunities for Covid-19 to spread.

"Throughout the country’s response to the pandemic, West Mercia Police’s approach has always been to engage with individuals and businesses first and foremost to negate the need for significant intervention wherever possible.

"This shop had already been advised previously by Wychavon District Council that they should not be open within the current restrictions and the shop had already been issued with a Prohibition Notice.

"Clearly, at the time of the visit, that notice was being breached. Our officers were therefore simply visiting the premises to advise, and will report their findings to Wychavon District Council.

"We understand the restrictions can be challenging, and we know this business is well-loved in Droitwich, but the Government legislation is in place to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and to keep us all safe. We all have a critical part to play in that."

A statement from Wychavon District Council was also issued, saying the shop is registered as a card and gift shop and must be closed in the second lockdown.

A council spokesman said: "We absolutely understand the challenges all businesses are currently facing and will continue to face. We have supported them throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so.

"We distributed more than £32million to businesses during the first lockdown and have so far paid out more than £600,000 to businesses forced to close during the current lockdown with more applications to process.

"We are also making £1.3million available to support businesses that are affected by the restrictions but do not qualify for the main support scheme.

"Both grants are available for businesses to apply for from our website and we would urge Grace Card and Books to do so if they haven’t already.

"The Government set out by law the types of business that had to close from 5 November in order to halt the spread of the virus, reduce the pressure on our NHS and save lives.

"Grace Cards and Books is registered as a card and gift shop and that is one of the businesses types that have to close by law.

"They were advised of this the day before the notice was issued and told they could continue to trade by delivery or click and collect.

"They chose to remain open and so a prohibition notice was issued on Thursday, November 19 under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020.

"It is important everyone follows the rules, either as businesses or individuals, and plays their part in helping reduce the spread of this virus.

"The vast majority of businesses are voluntarily complying with the law and we thank them for that.

"We understand why business owners and the public get frustrated and confused when they see other types of businesses being allowed to continue trading or selling items that are deemed non-essential.

"The Government made the decision on which type of businesses would and would not be allowed to trade and what they would be allowed to sell. We can only enforce the regulations."