A HAND car wash has been ordered to shut after illegally opening its doors to customers despite tougher coronavirus restrictions.

Durham Hand Car Wash on Durham Road, in Sunderland, was seen trading on Saturday, January 2 despite Tier 4 measures coming into force 24 hours before.

Residents said the car wash was visited by council officials at around 10am on Saturday after opening for trade at around 9am. 

Under Tier 4 at the time, and now national lockdown rules, hand car washes were listed among the businesses that must remain closed.

Only automatic car washes, and hand car washes that motorists use themselves at petrol stations, are allowed to remain open.

Confirming Durham Hand Car Wash had been ordered to close in line with restrictions, on Monday Sunderland City Council said it was taking action where there are breaches.  

A spokesperson said: "Council officers have been visiting businesses throughout the city to provide advice on the current government rules, including which businesses are able to remain open and the services they can offer.

"Under Tier 4 restrictions all non-essential businesses must remain closed and therefore officers have advised Durham Hand Car Wash to stay closed until these restrictions are lifted.

"We appreciate that this is a challenging and uncertain time for businesses, but health and safety is our priority.

"The majority of Sunderland businesses are following government rules and it is only fair to those acting responsibly that we take action where there are breaches."