CUSTOMERS of a Rugby pub are being advised to get tested for Covid-19 after a group of people who visited it over the Bank Holiday weekend were confirmed to have the virus.
Four people who went to the Rupert Brooke JD Wetherspoon pub over the weekend of August 29-31 have since tested positive for Covid-19.
While some people who visited the Castle Street pub may have already been contacted by the national Test and Trace service, Public Health Warwickshire is advising those who have not been contacted to be alert to the symptoms of Covid-19 – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a change in or loss of taste and smell.
Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) associate director of public health Emily van de Venter said: “Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in cases over the last few weeks which have been associated with people visiting pubs, particularly in Rugby.
“On this occasion, there have been a number of cases linked to people who have visited The Rupert Brooke. We know that JD Wetherspoon have appropriate Covid-secure measures in place, so the risk to other customers should be low.
“However, we would urge residents to take swift action should they feel unwell and display any symptoms of the virus. If you are showing any symptoms, you need to self-isolate immediately and get a test.”
She added WCC had been working with businesses and Rugby Borough Council (RBC) to ensure bars and pubs were Covid secure.
She said: “We have seen some great measures being put in place, but if those visiting them do not follow those rules, the virus will continue to spread. Residents should also continue to limit the number of people they socialise with, as per the changes announced last night restricting any gathering to no more than six from September 14.
“So please let’s do the right thing by keeping our distance from those not in our group, keeping our contacts to a minimum and not visiting several pubs in one night as this increases the risk of infection and puts more people at risk. Only by following the guidance can we ensure that places we want to visit can remain open.”
RBC deputy executive director Dan Green added: “Rugby Borough Council’s environmental protection team are working with businesses to make sure that they remain safe places to visit, but it is important all residents continue to follow the rules.
“We must wash our hands regularly and keep more than two metres apart from anyone we don’t live with whenever possible, even on a night out.
“Wearing a face covering also reduces the risk of passing on the virus, even in places where this is not compulsory.
“We must continue to do what’s right for Rugby by following these measures. That way we will help to protect more vulnerable residents who are more likely to become seriously ill from covid-19.”
Talking about the work undertaken at The Rupert Brooke, a spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon said: “We have been notified by Warwickshire County Council’s Public Health team that a group of four individuals who have since tested positive for Covid-19 visited the Rupert Brooke in Rugby between August 28-31.”
“Since reopening, Wetherspoon has operated comprehensive social distancing and hygiene practices in all its pubs. These include reduced capacity levels, the spacing out of tables, the installation of a number of floor screens between tables and the addition of till-surround screens to the bar. We have also installed numerous hand sanitiser stations around the pubs.
“Wetherspoon also operates a Test and Trace system allowing customers to register their details using either a paper-based system or via a digital QR system on their mobile phones. QR codes are displayed prominently on every table and on posters throughout the pub. Customers are also prompted to complete the digital form when ordering on our Order and Pay App.
“The Public Health team believe that as a result of these measures being in place at the Rupert Brooke, the chance that other customers may have contracted the virus are low. If, however, customers develop any Covid related symptoms, the Public Heath team advise they should self-isolate and arrange a test.
“We support the Public Health team’s message that those visiting pubs should follow the rules that have been put in place to ensure they are Covid secure and while it’s not possible to completely eliminate risk, Wetherspoon believes a combination of stringent hygiene and social distancing measures helps to minimise it.”
On Monday (September 7), The Lawrence Sheriff pub said a customer from last Friday evening (September 4) has tested positive for Covid-19.
The High Street pub closed to undergo a deep disinfecting clean, adding it would continue to adhere to strict guidelines.
And on Saturday (September 5), Kaspas Desserts in Chapel Street said a customer who visited on Monday August 31 had tested positive for Covid-19.
The branch was temporarily closed for a deep clean and to ensure all staff had taken precautionary tests.
A spokesperson said the business contacted all customers who were on the premises and advised them to take precautionary tests and self-isolate in line with government policy.
A Mobile Testing Unit is in Rugby until Saturday (September 12). Visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirustesting to book a test.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/yxozmjtx to report businesses in Warwickshire which are breaching Covid-19 measures.
Visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/information-coronavirus for the latest advice on coronavirus.