A town centre cafe bar has been forced to close for a second time in a matter of weeks after another of its chefs tested positive for coronavirus.
The Mercado Lounge, in Market Harborough, had no option but for shut its doors again on Saturday night following the results of a test undertaken by one of its staff members.
Management at the Abbey Street restaurant confirmed the male chef had recently returned from holiday when he tested positive for the virus.
They have stressed, however, that the latest case is unconnected to another of its chefs testing positive for coronavirus, something which led to the cafe closing for five days at the start of last month.
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In a statement, the firm said: “There is no connection with the previous case and as he had only just returned from holiday his contact with other members of the team had been very limited.
“Any risk of infection will have been mitigated by our extensive hygiene measures, which include the wearing of masks.
“Nevertheless we have taken the decision to close as a precaution.”
Public health officials have been informed and the premises will have to be thoroughly cleaned before it can reopen.
In a move to reassure customers, they said that the man, who is now self-isolating, had not had any direct contact with patrons.
Other members of staff are now undergoing tests.
Mercado said: “We will re-open when we are confident our team are all fit and well and the Lounge has been thoroughly deep cleaned and sanitised.
“We know this news will cause concern to those of you who have recently visited Mercado, though it is worth pointing out that the team member who has tested positive works in the kitchen and did not have direct contact with customers.
“We have been collecting details of customer visits for NHS Test and Trace but we have been advised not to contact customers ourselves.”
The statement added: “If they decide it is necessary NHS Test & Trace will make direct contact. If you don’t hear anything from them there is no reason for concern and you don’t have to do anything.”
Mike Sandys, director of public health for Leicestershire County Council, sought to reassure diners following the earlier chef’s positive diagnosis, explaining that the public health risk was low.