Ardwick health store forced to close after breaching Covid-19 regulations

A health store in Ardwick has been forced to close with immediate effect after a reported breach of Covid-19 regulations from a member of the public.

Up to 20 people are reported to have been inside the ARMR store on Polygon Street, Ardwick on Thursday 14 January.

Council enforcement staff and Greater Manchester Police officers attended the scene and found that those in the shop were not social distancing or wearing face coverings.

According Manchester City Council, the store manager – Raphale Swaby – was uncooperative and told the police: “I trust my immune system.”  

Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Rabnawaz Akbar, called the violation a “grim irony” and condemned the store for its “irresponsible actions”.

In response to the accusations, Mr Swaby said: “I take full responsibility for this and would stress that it’s hugely important that everyone checks the most up to date correct government advice, which can change regularly, from a credible source, and base their decisions on this.”

ARMR premises will remain closed for at least a week, until the Council is satisfied that the appropriate health and safety measures have been put in place and the measures will be reviewed every seven days.

The store first opened in March 2019 and specialises in selling plant-based Jamaican foods and has been an active member of the Ardwick community.

It has given away more than 1,000 free meals, hosted a food bank and donated money to a local community initiative.

Main Photo: Front of boarded up ARMR store, 22/01/2021

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