Sunderland pub hits out at NHS Test and Trace system after no contact following coronavirus customer's visit
Sunderland pub The Cavalier said it is ‘disgusted’ that the NHS Test and Trace system had not been in touch after a customer tested positive for Covid-19.
The pub on Silksworth Lane confirmed that a customer who had drank in its beer garden on Friday, July 31, tested positive for coronavirus the following day.
Staff test results came back clear and The Cavalier reopened on Sunday afternoon, but with an estimated loss of £4,000 in revenue.
The owner believes there were around 300 people at the pub over the weekend and he has the names and contact details for each party.
But the pub has not been contacted by the Government’s contact tracers, according to Mr Jeffries, leaving him left to deal with calls from worried customers.
“Nobody has contacted me from Test and Trace,” he said.
"I spoke to Public Health England on the phone last night (Sunday) and they told me that I didn’t have to close the pub or get it steam cleaned.
"When I asked them about the Test and Trace they couldn’t answer me.
"I asked who was going to get in touch with all these numbers – its not my job. I was disgusted.
"I have had families phoning me asking what they should do, but nobody has been in touch with me.
"I have had a call from the council asking if there was anything they could do and they said that I had done the right things and then Public Health England is telling me that I needn’t have shut the pub.
“I have all the names and phone numbers but no one has been in touch. It’s terrible.
"Test and Trace is a waste of time, it does not work.
"We did our best to do the Test and Trace but they are not bothered whatsoever.”
The Government’s gov.uk website says that NHS Test and Trace will ask businesses for records only where it is necessary, either because someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 has listed the premises as a place they visited recently, or because the premises have been identified as the location of a potential local outbreak of Covid-19.
Sunderland City Council’s Director of Public Health, Gillian Gibson, explained that not every single person in a venue would neccesarily need to be tested, as long as social distancing measures had been in place.
She said: “Contact tracing is carried out on people who have been within two metres of anyone testing positive for COVID-19.“With information gathered on social distancing measures and how it was being practised at The Cavalier, as well as speaking to the person who tested positive, the risk was deemed to be lower and it was not necessary to trace all the patrons.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Local councils across the country, including Sunderland, are doing excellent work with their local communities to deal with Covid-19 transmission, and we continue to work collectively with them.
"Strong community engagement, major boosts in testing and increased support are already underway to manage outbreaks in these areas.”