A Wetherspoon pub in Cumbria has closed after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

The company said it had decided to temporarily shut down the William Rufus in Carlisle as a result of 24 employees going into self-isolation.

Wetherspoon said it had informed the local authority and handed over contact details of its staff to NHS Test and Trace officials.

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The infected worker, who was on duty on 24 and 28 July, did not have any symptoms but completed a home test kit on Monday after becoming concerned about a local outbreak.

After receiving the result, bosses decided to close the pub early on Friday “based on the availability of staff and the ability to operate safely”, the chain said.

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However Wetherspoon said it had not yet been asked for contact details for customers who visited the pub on those two days.

“Wetherspoon has taken the decision to temporarily close the pub,” said spokesperson Eddie Gershon.

“The local authority has not advised the company to close the pub.

“Both the local authority and public health bodies have been very helpful and supportive.

“Customer test and trace details have not yet been requested by the authorities but are available when needed.

“Wetherspoon will reopen the pub as and when it can get the number of staff needed to do so safely.”

Cumbria County Council has been battling a higher-than-average infection rate in Carlisle and Eden over the past month.

Last week the council advised people to get tested if they had been four pubs in Carlisle at the same time as known Covid-19 cases.

The bars included the William Rufus (also known as Lloyds No.1 Bar), The Thin White Duke, The Turf Tavern and The Museum Inn.

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