Shropshire firms forced to close doors amid warnings tougher restrictions are inevitable

Businesses throughout Shropshire are reporting outbreaks of Covid-19 and closing their doors amid warnings that tougher restrictions are inevitable.

The number of companies reporting cases of coronavirus is increasing and many have temporarily closed to protect staff and customers.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils are working with Public Health England (PHE) West Midlands to control the spread of the virus in all affected establishments.

It comes as Telford & Wrekin was yesterday moved into the next tier of the government's coronavirus restrictions, which will come into force from Saturday.

The move from Tier 1 to Tier 2, which was confirmed by government ministers in parliament, comes after recommendations from public health officials and scientists, amid a significant rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Shropshire's director of public health warned Shropshire is also "on the brink" of having further restrictions imposed.

Infections have jumped significantly in Telford & Wrekin, with the current number of cases per 100,000 people, one of the measures used to decide which tier areas are place in, at 200.7 for the seven days up to October 22.

The Shropshire rate is currently around half that of Telford & Wrekin, at 106 cases per 100,000 people.

The spike in cases has been felt throughout the county's various industries.

Bridgnorth's branch of HSBC has also closed for a deep clean with no set reopening date after a staff member tested positive.

The owners of The Pheasant at Neenton have closed the pub until next month on precautionary measures after receiving an alert from NHS Test & Trace.

Apley Farm Shop off the A442 near Shifnal is also in the process of contacting all staff and customers who visited on October 24 and 25 after a member of the shop's kitchen tested positive.

Critical

While the shop remains open, the kitchens have closed until further notice for a deep clean.

Due to when the students were last in close contact with others, and when they experienced symptoms, only three class groups have been affected.

Shropshire Council described it as "a small number" and Addo Food Group said it is "a handful".

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire's director of public health, said: "We are working closely with the businesses and PHE to help limit any further potential spread.

"All positive cases are self-isolating for at least 10 days, with contacts isolating for 14 days, as per national guidance.

“We are now at a critical point in our battle against Covid-19. We are on the brink of having further restrictions being placed upon us here in Shropshire.

"That’s why we are urging everyone to follow the measures designed to keep everyone safe – particularly around observing the rule of six, limiting your social contacts, observing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings in enclosed public areas, including public transport.”

For local advice and support during the pandemic, call Shropshire Council’s Covid-19 Helpline on 03456789028 or visit shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

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