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Wetherspoons reveals 66 workers have tested positive for coronavirus with 50 pubs affected

WETHERSPOONS have revealed 66 workers have tested positive for coronavirus with 50 pubs affected.

The chain has insisted its pubs are still safe to visit despite the coronavirus outbreak.

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It confirmed the infected staff are spread out over 50 pubs – with up to four employees affected at two of its boozers.

A further 40 have reported one worker testing positive for the coronavirus, while six pubs have confirmed two..

And 28 of the 66 employees who tested positive have already returned to work after self-isolating.

Wetherspoons, which employs more than 41,000 people, said the vast majority of its 861 pubs had recorded no positive cases.

They have not revealed which of its pubs are affected.

Last month, three staff at the North and South Wales Bank in Wrexham, North Wales, tested positive but it remained open.

Pubs are not required to close following a positive test unless forced to do so by local health protection officials.

It comes as Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin shot down claims made by a disease expert that pubs are “dangerous places to be” during the pandemic.

He blasted: “The situation with regard to pubs has been widely misunderstood.

“It is clearly not the case that pubs are ‘dangerous places to be’.”

Around 32million Brits have packed into Wetherspoons pubs since they reopened on July 4.

Mr Martin insists the chain has invested around £15million on safeguarding its pubs – including reducing capacity and screens between tables.

The news comes as the “rule of six” law came into force today – with public gatherings now limited to just six people indoors and out.

Home Secretary Priti Patel today warned Brits will get criminal records if they break the rules.

She also urged people to respect the regulations or risk fines of between £100 and £3,200 as marshals start to patrol streets.

Home Office officials say those who refuse to accept £100 on-the-spot fines will be arrested and taken to court.

Pubs, bars and restaurants must also take the details of punters or risk £1,000 fines.

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