Pub hit by 16 confirmed coronavirus cases with all drinkers urged to self-isolate

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Drinkers who visited a pub during an eight-day period have been urged to self-isolate as it has been linked to 16 coronavirus cases.

The Downsman pub in Crawley, West Sussex, was force to close its doors on July 19 after two staff members tested positive for the virus.

But now there have been 16 cases linked to the drinking establishment.

Crawley Borough Council posted a statement on its website that reads: “We were notified of an outbreak of Covid-19 at The Downsman pub in Crawley earlier this week and since then Public Health England has been organising contact tracing of staff and customers.

“There are 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus with a link to the pub.

Has your pub been forced to close because a customer has tested positive for coronavirus? Email [email protected]

“While this is a relatively small number and may not be the definite source of infection for all these cases, we are asking people to take action to ensure the virus does not spread further.

“If you were in The Downsman pub between 9 and 18 July (excluding the 16 July) please self-isolate for 14 days from the date of your last visit.”

It added: “Residents are asked to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus. If you do visit a pub or restaurant, please record your contact details with the premises.”

The Downsman pub announced it was closing on Sunday on its Facebook page.

The post said: “We have taken the decision to temporarily close The Downsman after two members of our team tested positive for COVID-19 this afternoon.

“The staff members took tests as a precaution despite showing little to no signs of symptoms, and have not been on the premises since early last week and are now self isolating.

“We have been in contact with Public Health England to make them aware of the situation and as a result we have chosen to close briefly to carry out a further deep clean of the pub as a precaution for the safety of our customers.

“We have followed all of the required steps at this stage and the details of customers who have visited us have been made available to the NHS Test and Trace team.

“We expect to be back open again very soon once we are assured that it is safe to do so. “

Several pubs have been forced to temporarily close their doors after they were allowed to reopen by the government on July 4.

Just days after pubs reopened on ‘Super Saturday The Lighthouse Kitchen & Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, The Fox & Hounds in Batley, West Yorkshire, and The Village Home in Alverstoke, Hampshire, had to close after someone on their premises tested positive for coronavirus.

Earlier this week Cumbria County Council appealed to punters who who attended three pubs in Carlisle on certain dates to have a test.

Pub-goers are being urged to get tested even if they do not have symptoms after six people tested positive in the north west England city.

The contact tracers’ appeal comes following a “small but concerning rise” in the number of Covid-19 infections in the area earlier in the month.

Drinkers who visited Lloyds Bar on Saturday July 11, The Museum on Monday July 13 or The Turf on July 9, 10 or 13 are advised to get tested as a precaution.

The news comes as the government said pubs, restaurants and cafes must offer non-smoking areas outside.

Lighting up in venues has been banned in England since July 2007, but outdoor puffing has been allowed.

But with more non-smoking customers in beer gardens and at outside restaurant tables because of social distancing, campaigners have called for a ban on the habit anywhere on a premises – including outdoors.

Ministers have rejected such a move, but will force businesses in England to offer separate outside seating for smokers and non-smokers.

Chris Pincher, Planning Minister, said: “These changes will allow everyone to enjoy outdoor eating and drinking whether they smoke or not.”

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