Pub closed and deep cleaned after two staff test positive for coronavirus

A landlord who introduced 'strict measures' to prevent coronavirus in his pub has been left devastated after two staff tested positive - forcing him to close.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 17th August 2020, 12:57 pm

At least five staff from The Ponty Tavern, Pontefract, are now self-isolating after coming into contact with the two affected staff members.

> Hundreds of bikers ride through Leeds for funeral of longest serving 'Blue Angels' memberLandlord of more than five years Richard Stokes, 43, said he was 'devastated' at the news - despite introducing track and trace, social distancing and other prevention methods in the pub.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Richard said that the pub had done 'everything they can' to prevent the spread of the infection.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Ponty Tavern

However, he has now sadly had to close for the foreseeable future and his staff are in self-isolation for 14 days - just as business was starting to resume to pre-Covid levels.

Richard said: "The pub is now being deep cleaned.

"I have spoken to the council and health departments who supported the measures we introduced.

"We have done everything we possibly can.

"Thankfully with track and trace, anybody who has been in the pub at the affected times will be contacted."

> Caught on camera in Leeds - 15 people police urgently want to speak toRichard originally waited a few weeks after the government's announcement to ensure the pub - known for dancing and music - was setup efficiently to deal with the virus.

He said: "I left it a few weeks to reopen to make sure we did it correctly.

"We had all the procedures in place.

"Hopefully these are just isolated incidents."

Richard is now awaiting further news on when he would be able to reopen the pub.

He said business was starting to pickup and people had started to adjust to the changes.

Richard added: "It is a lot different than it was.

"We are known for the dancing and music but people are now staying longer as they are able to get a seat.

"Business was going well."

On Sunday, the pub put out a statement on Facebook warning customers of the potential track and trace contact.

A statement on the pub’s Facebook page on Sunday said: "We have now had a second member of staff test positve.

"We will be closed until further notice we are awaiting advice from public health England as to what procedures we need to follow before it’s safe for us to re-open you’re all aware we have the correct track and trace in place.

“If anybody was in the establishment this Friday between the hours of 8pm and 2am await contact from track and trace with regards to the matter or book a test if you’re displaying symptoms and if you were in the premises between these hours as that is the only shift this member of staff worked.”

Richard said he expected backlash from the news.

However, the popular pub's customers have responded positively to the measures introduced and the track and trace function.

He said anyone affected is likely to be contacted by the track and trace team - with the pub keeping a diligent record of everyone who attends.

Richard said: "We have been a lot stricter than some other places.

"Everyone has to sign in when they walk through the door.

"We have taken all the precautions we can."

A message from the Editor: Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890. We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds. Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe. For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you

Laura Collins