Publican of site linked to 22 Covid-19 cases describes 'deepest regret'

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

"Positive steps": a publican has said all he can do now is rebuild customer confidence after a coronavirus outbreak was linked to his site (image: Gordon Cragg, Geograph)
"Positive steps": a publican has said all he can do now is rebuild customer confidence after a coronavirus outbreak was linked to his site (image: Gordon Cragg, Geograph)

Related tags: Legislation, Staffordshire, Health and safety

The operator of a pub linked to more than 20 coronavirus cases has shared his regret about being “complacent” with enforcing social distancing guidance on a busy weekend.

Some 22 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been linked to the Crown & Anchor in Stone, Staffordshire, according to Staffordshire County Council.

Publican Custodio Pinto said he “would like to express my deepest regret for all the anguish, disruption and sadness that the events that occurred in the Crown and Anchor last month have caused to so many”, in a post on the pub's Facebook page.

He said he was “simply not strong enough” with enforcing regulations such as social distancing and taking contact details with customers on the weekend the infections are thought to have occurred.

Staffordshire Police visited the pub last month (18 and 19 July) after concerns that social distancing was not enforced. 

Pinto said: “This virus gives you a false sense of normality while all around you seems okay. My error of judgement is down to me not being able to react quickly enough to the rapidly evolving situation, and for that I would like to apologise.”

The operator admitted crowding at the pub had got out of control “despite detailed preparation according to their [the Government’s] guidelines”. 

The pub is planning to reopen after reviewing its risk assessment with authorities but has not yet set a reopening date.

Positive steps

Pinto added: “The one thing that is within my power is to take positive steps to ensure the Crown & Anchor goes above and beyond to reassure people that Stone remains a safe place to visit.

“I have never intentionally set out to create any damage or disruption to the community of Stone, but the reality is that I have done so, and I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to rectify that.”

Staffordshire County Council said more than 60 contacts of those infected had been identified and told to self-isolate for two weeks.

It said investigations into an outbreak linked to the pub had been stepped down on Friday 7 August as they were confident it was unlikely there would be further confirmed linked cases.

A handful of other pubs in the town also closed after news of the outbreak.

Related topics: Health & safety

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