Four pubs forced to shut in one town after coronavirus outbreak

Four pubs in County Durham have been forced to close after customers and staff of each of them tested positive for coronavirus.

The Phoenix Club, The Ball Alley, East Stanley Working Men’s Club and Stanley Empire Working Men’s Club, all in Stanley, have been shut in order to prevent more people catching the virus.

As of yet, there has been no confirmation as to whether the cases are linked – however, it is understood that the same customer visited the East Stanley club and the Empire bar last weekend.

This comes as three more people die due to Covid-19 as the number of UK cases rise by 1,012. The Ball Alley, which also operates as a bed and breakfast with a beer garden, tweeted earlier today to confirm the closure for patrons.

A spokesperson wrote: ‘It has come to our attention that one of our regular customers has tested positive for coronavirus, with no symptoms. Those that have been in close contact have been informed.

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‘Due to this information we have taken the difficult decision to close down the pub for a deep clean and so we can all be tested. Therefore the pub will be closed until further notice.’

Coronavirus cases have doubled in parts of the North East including Newcastle and Northumberland, according to the latest government figures.

But infection levels remain low in the region compared to some of the worst affected parts of the country.

Elsewhere, more restrictions have lifted across England, as casinos, soft play centres and theatres have been allowed to reopen.

Though pubs, bars and restaurant have been back in business since July, occasional cases of the virus amongst staff and customers have caused some to close for short periods of time in order to get things under control again.

Addressing the new easing of lockdown rules, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed it as a way for people to return to the things they love.

But urging caution, he added: ‘we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.’

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