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McDonald’s closes branch in West Midlands after five employees tested positive for coronavirus

McDonald’s has closed a restaurant in the West Midlands after five employees tested positive for coronavirus.

The branch, in Sandwell near Birmingham, has been temporarily shut down after the positive cases were recently diagnosed, the Express and Star reported.

In a statement, McDonald’s said the closure was a ‘precautionary measure’ following the positive tests and a recent rise of Covid-19 cases in the area.

Sandwell recorded 24 new cases of the virus on July 20, the borough’s highest daily figure since April 29. The area has reported 1,823 cases since the pandemic began.   

The fast food chain added it has been in contact with all employees at the branch amid the outbreak, alongside Public Health England and the Environmental Health Officer.

‘As with all of the decisions we have made across this unprecedented period, the safety of our people and customers is our absolute priority, and we will re-open as soon as we feel we can,’ a spokesman added.

The chain said it does not know when the restaurant in Great Bridge is likely to reopen.

McDonald’s closed all of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland when draconian lockdown measures were announced by Boris Johnson on March 23.    

It reopened to walk-in customers earlier this month after opening for deliveries and takeaway earlier in lockdown. 

The closure comes as hundreds of Britons today queued up to be tested for the virus in Stone, Staffordshire following an outbreak linked to a local pub. 

At least ten people were infected with the deadly virus after approximately 200 drinkers were filmed crammed into a beer garden ‘like sardines’ at the Crown and Anchor earlier this month.

Punters and staff who were at the 17th century pub between July 16 and 18 have been urged get swabs done, as well as anyone who has been in close contact with visitors.

A new testing centre has been set up 350 yards away at a car park, and people who were out in Stone on one of those nights who have since displayed symptoms should also now get a test.

One customer at the pub who tested positive is also said to have held a private gathering, causing a further spread. There were 43 new cases in Staffordshire in the week to Sunday – level to the previous week.   

Prime Minister Boris Johnson now fears a second wave of coronavirus could start in Britain within a fortnight, while sweeping new local lockdown restrictions have been introduced in Oldham after a huge spike in the town’s cases. 

Although the number of UK national cases is relatively low, rises were recorded each day last week for the first time since the April peak.    

There were 763 positive cases announced today, taking the rolling seven-day average to 726.

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