Unannounced spot-checks will start on Monday with businesses quizzed and inspected to make sure they are Covid-secure.

Brighton and Hove City Council said that, during the checks, it will provide advice and guidance to businesses to help manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors.

But, the authority warned, "if businesses aren’t managing this correctly, we will take action".

The city council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact and inspect businesses.

A council spokesman said: "All businesses are in scope for spot-checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are Covid-secure.

"...Health and Safety Executive, and local authority, inspectors are finding common issues across a range of sectors.

"These include failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime, particularly at busy times of the day."

Being Covid-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk of, and protect workers and others from, coronavirus.

If businesses fail to do this, the council says it will take action. This may come in the form of giving specific advice, issuing enforcement notices and stopping certain work practices until they are made safe.

Brighton and Hove City Council has also warned that, "where businesses fail to comply", they could face "possible prosecution".

Council leader, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, said: "We are focused on being as prepared as possible to reopen the city safely.

"Working closely with the Health and Safety Executive, we are talking to local businesses and inspecting premises to make sure they have all the information they need to reopen safely and protect their customers and staff.

"Becoming Covid-secure needs to be the top priority for all businesses in Brighton and Hove.

"It’s a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking all reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. This means making business adjustments to become Covid-secure.

"We ask employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.

"By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can benefit the health of the local community as well as support the local economy."