A hair salon owner, who tried to use the Magna Carta to justify staying open during November’s lockdown, has said she plans to break the rules again.
Sinead Quinn kept her business – Quinn Blakey Hairdressing – open despite all salons being forced to close during the second national lockdown.
She has already racked up several fines, worth £17,000, and has not paid any of them.
Some of Ms Quinn’s recent posts and comments on social media indicate she is planning to breach the current lockdown rules during ‘the great opening’ on January 30.
Some people have been using #thegreatopening to promote businesses flouting coronavirus restrictions and opening at the end of January.
The hairdresser encouraged people to ‘get up and open businesses’ with an Instagram post four days ago.
She shared a video criticising the Government for not knowing enough about the vaccine and captioned it: ‘In February you can bet your life savings that Covid-21 will be here and so will your lockdown.
‘I’d like you to sit back and watch it all play out but we’re running out of time. Stop, listen and think about everything he’s saying.
‘Stand up for your freedoms. 30th January. Get up and open your businesses, go out and support those businesses.
‘WE ARE THE POWER, NOT THEM.’
Last week Ms Quinn posted a picture with ‘#thegreatopening’ and in the comments section told someone: ‘Yeah we’re all opening regardless of lockdown. They can’t control us all when we stand up to them.’
It is unclear how many businesses are participating in ‘the great opening’ or who is organising it, but some accounts on social media have used the hashtag to call people to ‘join the revolution’.
Last year Ms Quinn quoted the Magna Carta, a royal charter of rights, as her defence for opening the salon, in Oakenshaw, during lockdown.
The Magna Carta allowed barons to rebel if they felt the king was governing them unfairly but it was never enshrined into English law.
Kirklees Council took her to court and she was forced to close her salon, with no one allowed on the property unless they lived there.
The council is putting together a case that could give them the power to impose an unlimited fine because she has not paid her existing fines.
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesperson said: ‘We are at the most dangerous stage of this pandemic and each of us has a personal responsibility to do everything we can to stop the spread of coronavirus.
‘We will not hesitate to issue fines to those deliberately breaching the regulations with no regard for the safety of others.’
The Government may start to loosen lockdown rules before February 15, the Government’s deadline to vaccinate its top four priority groups, Boris Johnson said today.
‘Before then, we’ll be looking at the potential of relaxing some measures – but don’t forget that this country has made huge progress in reducing infection,’ he said.
‘I don’t think people want to see another big surge in infection. We’re looking at the data and trying to work out when we’ll be able to lift restrictions.
‘Schools obviously will be a priority but I don’t think anyone will want to see the restrictions lifted so quickly, whilst the rate of infection is still very high so as to lead to another great spread of infection.’
To vaccinate 15 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February, 397,333 jabs would need to be administered every day, which was exceeded on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The most recent figures show that a total of 6.4 million have been vaccinated with Saturday seeing the highest daily figures since the rollout began – 491,970 got their first jab and 1,043 got their second.
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