Operator defends closure as 'right choice' after confirmed link to coronavirus case

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Social media criticism: one publican experienced negative comments after deciding to close following a confirmed link of coronavirus to her site
Social media criticism: one publican experienced negative comments after deciding to close following a confirmed link of coronavirus to her site

Related tags: coronavirus

A publican insists she did the right thing in closing her site after a customer received a positive coronavirus test after visiting her venue, despite not being instructed to do so by officials.

While the Park View in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was not told to close by public health officials, operator Michelle Carr took the decision to do so as a precautionary measure.

The operator learned on 14 August that a customer who had visited the bar on Saturday 8 August had later tested positive for Covid-19.

'Man up'

Carr said she used the contact details customers had provided and notified those who had been there that weekend.

She chose to close briefly before the site reopened following a deep clean and staff tested reported negative results.

Some social media users criticised the decision, with one writing “that decision is not yours to make,” and another saying “people need to man up and stop being scared, it's nothing."

Carr said she felt the Government’s contact tracing system was slow and was disappointed to have not heard from their contact-tracers about the customer’s visit.

“I feel I made the right choice taking precautions to stop the spread," she told The Morning Advertiser. "​My staff and myself liaised with local council officers regarding this.”

She added: “At no point did Test and Trace contact us and to date they still have not been in touch. I really do feel the government system is not working quickly enough.”

Contact-tracing rules

The NHS Test and Trace system may advise individuals who have had close recent contact with someone who has coronavirus to self-isolate.

Individuals are asked to self-isolate if they have had any close contact with anyone

The service focuses on contact-tracing those who the ill person has been in contact with in the 48 hours before they developed symptoms and the time since they developed symptoms. 

Close contact is defined as having face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away, spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone.

Travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) is also included.

Contact-tracers may refer the case to local public health experts in the event of an infected person having recently visited public spaces such as a hospital or school.

Pubs across the country have been praised by public health officials for choosing to close of their own accord following potential outbreaks or connections to the virus.

Related topics: Health & safety

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