Sunderland executives warn violation of Covid rules could lead to local lockdown at three sites shutdown


Residents of Sunderland have been warned that failure to follow infection control rules could lead to a local lockdown, after an ‘irresponsible’ customer with coronavirus caused sites to be closed. Three sites in Sunderland, Ryhope Cricket Club, on Ryhope Street, and the Golden Fleece Pub, in Silksworth, and The Cavalier, on Silksworth Road, have all temporarily closed, after managers learned that a person with a confirmed case of coronavirus had surrendered.

A spokesperson for the Golden Fleece claimed on Facebook that “an irresponsible customer who was showing symptoms of Covid while awaiting his test results decided to go out at night,” and the pub later learned that the no one had tested positive for the virus.

Right now, the city’s Covid-19 infection rate remains low, with just 1.1 cases per 100,000 people in the week to July 28, according to data from Public Health England.

But local councilors have warned that irresponsible behavior around places like pubs could lead to local epidemics.

While pubs have now reopened, those with possible symptoms of coronavirus, including a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell, should self-isolate and not enter public places or stores .

Areas of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester were placed under stricter government lockdowns on Thursday, but local councils were also given the power to close shops, cancel events or close public spaces if epidemics are detected.

Sunderland Council chief Graeme Miller would work with the council’s director of public health if such an outbreak were identified – it is not yet clear whether cases at all three sites actually led to additional infection – but said the council would “seriously consider” implementing local restrictions if necessary.

He said: “We have always said, ‘Stay home, stay safe, protect lives’. It is far too early to say that Covid-19 has been treated, and if we have this kind of localized outbreak, we will. have to think about it seriously.

“It’s the only sane thing to do if this really becomes a problem, we have to keep people safe. ”

He criticized the government’s advice, which he said had been “deliberately vague” throughout the pandemic, but said the majority of Sunderland residents had behaved responsibly since the lockdown began – and urged them to continue to protect themselves and others.

He said that while more than 300 people have been killed by the virus in Sunderland, the infection rate is now low and no new deaths have been recorded for some time.

“In Sunderland, people got it, and luckily the common sense and goodwill are still there. At Sunderland Council we have done a good job with the resources we have.

“But if we have an outbreak in the pubs, we’ll have to watch it. ”

Councilor Niall Hodson, Liberal Democrat leader on city council, echoed the warning about the potential consequences of ignoring the coronavirus restrictions, saying a small area could become a ‘point of infection’ that could spread through a small local area.

He said, “This is exactly the sort of thing that is going to cause a local lockdown.

“It’s a matter of personal responsibility, more than anything the council or the police can do, it’s important for people to realize that if they take risks they could cause a local lockdown in Sunderland.

“It would have serious implications not only for health but also economically here, as there will not be the kind of financial support that there has been in the last three or four months.

“It’s worrying, and it’s up to individuals to make wise choices and not to put themselves or the community at risk. “


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