A BURNHAM-ON-SEA pub which closed after a customer tested positive for coronavirus said its staff have tested negative for the virus but it will remain closed while it waits for further guidance.

The Lighthouse Inn in Highbridge Road reopened on Saturday (July 4) after being closed for three months during lockdown but it was forced to close just two days later after a customer contacted them and told them they had tested positive for Covid-19.

The pub was one of a number of venues across England to close after thousands of people flocked to pubs on ‘Super Saturday’ following the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Jess Green, manager of The Lighthouse Inn said all of its staff’s coronavirus tests came back as negative but the pub will remain closed while she waits for guidance from the Government. 

“We are pleased to report that all of our staff’s tests have come back they have tested negative for coronavirus,” Jess said. 

“Unfortunately we will still be closed until further guidelines are issued. We would like to thank all of our customers for their ongoing support.”

Jess said that the pub was deep cleaned on Monday (July 6) and all Government guidelines will be adhered to.

Leanne Underhill, owner of Vape Escape in Burnham-on-Sea, said the customer, a man who tested positive for Covid-19,  also came into her shop at the weekend and she reopened her shop after a deep clean on Monday.

“A customer came into Vape Escape on Saturday and spent a long period of time in our shop,” Leanne said. 

“On Sunday (July 5) we were alerted to the fact he had tested positive for Covid-19. 

“I closed up the shop as soon as I knew. I didn’t know what else to do. 

“Unfortunately there were some other customers in store at the time. I sought advice from the NHS and contacted NHS Track and Trace. 

“Four of our staff members, including myself, got tested on Sunday and our tests came back negative.

“Two other staff members were tested on Monday. They will not be returning until their tests come back as negative. 

“We contacted the police and the NHS to ensure that it was safe for us to reopen. 

“We have abided by all of the Government guidelines. We have steam cleaned our shop and have mini hand sanitisers for our customers. 

“We reopened on Monday and only have one staff member in at a time.

“We want to promote a safe environment for our customers and we take the safety of our customers very seriously.”

Saagar Indian Takeaway, which is based in Abingdon Street, has also put a notice in the window stating that it has closed until Friday as a precaution as one of its delivery drivers was in the same pub as the man who tested positive.

Trudi Grant, director of public health at Somerset County Council thanked the businesses affected for 'responding quickly' to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

She said: “This is a reminder that Coronavirus still circulates in our communities, and it’s important we all follow government guidance such as social distancing and washing our hands frequently.

“We’d like to reassure you that anyone identified as a close contact of any positive case will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service and advised to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. Anyone who visited the Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery over the weekend does not need to self-isolate unless they are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.

“When you visit a place such as the pub or restaurant, you are now asked to provide contact details to enable us to get in touch with anyone we may need to advise on isolating or getting tested. In this instance, we are working with the pub, Public Health England and NHS partners to provide public health advice and to help stop the spread of the virus.

“Businesses, including pubs, have been asked to take certain measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including ensuring staff can maintain social distancing wherever possible and are able to regularly wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

“The pub has been advised to take appropriate public health measures to ensure it is safe for other staff and customers to attend as normal. However, if anyone does develop symptoms, which include a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change to their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate straight away.”

“It's important to note that if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you are not showing any symptoms and take a test which then has a negative result, you still need to self-isolate for 14 days, just to be sure. You may unknowingly still be incubating the disease, which the test will not have picked up at that stage.”