Punters told to 'urgently' self-isolate after pub BBQ coronavirus outbreak

9 August 2020, 15:21

The Soho Foundry Tavern has closed voluntarily
The Soho Foundry Tavern has closed voluntarily. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Health officials have issued an “urgent” appeal for drinkers in the West Midlands who attended a pub BBQ to self-isolate after a potential outbreak.

Around 70 people are thought to have attended the party at The Soho Foundry Tavern, Smethwick, on 2 August.

Three people who were there, including staff, have since tested positive for Covid-19, Sandwell Council said. The pub closed voluntarily on Thursday.

Sandwell's deputy council leader Maria Crompton said: “We urgently need to alert anyone who attended the event last weekend to self-isolate until Sunday 16 August. If they have any symptoms they should book a test.

“Everyone needs to stay incredibly vigilant - the virus is still out there and the situation remains extremely serious - as this potential outbreak shows.”

Cllr Crompton also urged employers of those who need to self-isolate to “be supportive”.

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“If someone needs to self-isolate for the required time to comply with the safety guidance, please do all you can to accommodate that,” she added.

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell's director of public health, praised the pub landlady's decision to close the venue voluntarily.

“They did exactly what we would want business owners to do in this situation,” she said.

”They voluntarily took the decision to close and contacted us for advice. I would urge all businesses to do the same.

“Pubs need to be very careful at this time to gather contact details of customers and ensure social distancing at all times.”

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for councils to have greater powers to close pubs to slow the spread of coronavirus, following a series of outbreaks in recent weeks.