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Coronavirus: Three English pubs forced to close as customers test positive for COVID-19

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Coronavirus: Three English pubs forced to close as customers test positive for COVID-19
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A trio of pubs in England have been forced to close again... just days after reopening for the first time in more than three months.

Bars in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were allowed to reopen on Saturday after coronavirus restrictions were eased further.

But three pubs have already shut their doors again after their customers tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lighthouse Kitchen and Carvery in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said in a Facebook post it was "slowly getting through our list of customers that were in the pub on Saturday" and that all its staff would be tested.

It added that the establishment would only reopen "when the time is safe to do so".

The Village Home Pub in Alverstoke, Hampshire, said on Facebook some of its staff were in isolation and its "trace group" was contacting the relevant customers.

In West Yorkshire, the Fox and Hounds pub also announced its closure on the platform saying a customer who had been on the premises on Saturday had called to say they had tested positive.

The post said the establishment would be "fully deep cleaned" and "when safe to do so we will reopen our doors".

Many social media users on the platform praised the pubs' fast responses but others questioned whether they had been reopened too soon.

Establishments opening their doors to the public were required to put in place measures including limiting entry, mandatory table service and protective screens.

But social media platforms showed videos of crowded streets in some areas as punters enjoyed their first draught pints since lockdown measures were introduced.

One police officer confirmed the concerns of some citizens that it "was crystal clear is that drunk people can't/won't socially distance".

"A predictably busy night and confirmed what we knew, alcohol and social distancing is not a good combination," said John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, on Twitter.

However, health secretary, Matt Hancock, downplayed the situation, saying most people were “doing the right thing” and social distancing.

“Well, I think that from what I’ve seen, although there are some pictures to the contrary, very, very largely, people have acted responsibly,” he told Sky on Sunday.

Fears that emergency services would be overwhelmed were not realised according to reports, despite cases of pubs in some areas closing early due to alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.

Euronews has contacted all three pubs for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.