Pub customers urged to self-isolate after potential outbreak in Smethwick

Published 8th August 2020

Sandwell Council and Public Health England bosses have issued an urgent appeal for pub customers to self-isolate after The Soho Foundry Tavern in Smethwick reported cases of coronavirus.

The pub, in Foundry Lane, closed voluntarily on Thursday, 6 August.

On the previous Sunday, 2 August, around 70 people attended a barbecue at the pub. Three people who were there, including staff, have since tested positive. Now public health are advising those people who were at the BBQ that they may have been exposed to the virus.

Anyone who was there should self-isolate until next Sunday, 16 August. If they experience symptoms, such as a continuous cough, fever or change in taste or smell, they should book a test straight away.  This can be done by visiting the NHS website or by calling 119.

Sandwell’s Deputy Council Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said: “We urgently need to alert anyone who attended the event last weekend to self-isolate until Sunday 16th August.  If they have any symptoms they should book a test.

“Everyone needs to stay incredibly vigilant - the virus is still out there and the situation remains extremely serious – as this potential outbreak shows.”

Councillor Crompton said employers needed to play their part and be responsible too.

She said: “I would like to ask employers to be supportive too – if someone needs to self-isolate for the required time to comply with the safety guidance, please do all you can to accommodate that."

Guidance is available for employers on the Government website.

The council also praised the landlady’s action in response to the situation.

Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said: “They did exactly what we would want business owners to do in this situation.

“They voluntarily took the decision to close and contacted us for advice. I would urge all businesses to do the same.

“Pubs need to be very careful at this time to gather contact details of customers and ensure social distancing at all times

More information on the coronavirus pandemic in Sandwell is available on the Healthy Sandwell website.

Sandwell Council will continue to offer help to anyone who still needs support at this time, visit our emergency help webpage or call 0121 569 2266.