Coronavirus: Three England pubs close after positive tests

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Jess Green from Lighthouse Kitchen: "We could have opened today but chose not to as I think that's the right thing"

A number of pubs in England have shut after customers tested positive for coronavirus.

At least three establishments announced they had shut their doors again just days after reopening at the weekend.

They were among hundreds of venues that welcomed customers after three months as lockdown measures were eased - most apparently with no problem.

But crowds descending in some towns and cities prompted fears social distancing was being disregarded.

The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said it was "slowly" working through a list of customers who had left details at the weekend and that all staff had tested negative for the virus.

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The closures come after large crowds of people visited pubs across England, including London's Soho district

In Batley, West Yorkshire, the Fox and Hounds said a customer had phoned to say they had tested positive for coronavirus.

Meanwhile the landlord of the Village Home Pub in Alverstoke, Hampshire, said his team were awaiting test results after someone in a member of staff's "family bubble" tested positive.

Jess Green, manager of the Lighthouse Kitchen, told BBC Points West she decided to close to "put everyone's health and safety first".

"I felt I had to keep my customers and my staff safe which is why I chose to shut the pub. I'm gutted, but safety comes first.

"We could have opened today but chose not to as I think that's the right thing to do."

Image source, Google
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The Fox and Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, said a customer phoned to say they had tested positive for coronavirus
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Saagar takeaway in Burnham will be closed until Friday

Indian takeaway Saagar, also in Burnham, said it would be closing until Friday to undergo a deep clean after one of its drivers had been to the Lighthouse Kitchen, along with bar the Vape Escape, which has also closed for a full clean after a customer's positive test.

Leanne Underhill, owner of the Vape Escape, told all staff tests had been negative and customers in the bar on Saturday have been contacted, in accordance with government advice.

Somerset County Council said it was not treating the case as an "outbreak" and asked people to keep to social distancing guidelines and to regularly wash their hands.

The Fox and Hounds said staff had taken tests and the venue would be deep-cleaned prior to reopening.

The Batley pub said it had taken a number of measures ahead of Saturday's reopening, including limiting numbers allowed inside, a one-way system around the building and a one-in one-out policy on use of toilets.

'I will go back'

Georgia Gosling visited the Fox and Hounds over the weekend and said it had "all the right procedures in place" but called the news a "wake-up call".

"We were told to get a test and luckily everyone I know has come back negative," she said.

Despite saying she was "a bit scared to go out now", Ms Gosling said she would return to the pub once it reopened.

"I've been going there for years and once they've done a deep clean it's not like it's contagious forever. I'll definitely will go back."

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The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham said it was contacting customers

Customers of the Village Home who had visited at the weekend have been told there was "no need to isolate" unless they showed symptoms or were contacted by tracers.

Landlord Robby Roberts said: "A member of staff, one of my barmaids, has someone in her family bubble who has tested positive."

He said she was on shift on Saturday when the pub was open for 11-and-a-half hours and about 150 customers visited.

"All five staff who were on shift on Saturday have now been tested and we are waiting for the results," he said.

"The pub is being deep cleaned and I have contacted the council. I am awaiting advice from them."

A second pub in Alverstoke, The Fighting Cocks, has announced it will also close temporarily despite "having no suspected or confirmed cases".

The pub said on Facebook it "cannot guarantee that someone who has been in contact with a confirmed case has not been in the pub, nor will they come in over the coming days".

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The Village Home Pub in Alverstoke hopes to reopen on Saturday but the decision will depend on advice from the council

Crowds were seen across England on "Super Saturday", as thousands flocked to enjoy a pint.

There were reports of arrests and early venue closures around the country, but police said a majority of people had acted responsibly.

UK pub and hospitality trade bodies have published guidance for bars and restaurants on how to operate contact tracing.

Contact details only need to be taken from one person in a group and must be kept for 21 days.

Owners are also asked to note the arrival times of customers and how long they stay. People can refuse to give information, but owners can choose not to serve them.

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