Coronavirus fears prompt village restaurant to close as staff return from Chinese new year trip
PUBLISHED: 16:12 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:50 13 February 2020
A takeaway is shut and two people are in voluntary quarantine after celebrating Chinese new year in countries where coronavirus has taken hold.
The Full River restaurant, in Acle, says it took the decision as a precaution, to protect the village and its customers after 30 years at the heart of the community.
Indra Goodson, who works on the counter, said it had been a stressful time but that the two people involved - the owner Mr Lee and former owner Mrs Tang who still works there but is semi-retired - were completely on board with her decision.
It came after they each travelled to visit family in Malaysia and Hong Kong.
And while it was usual for the restaurant to shut in January for the celebrations, Mrs Goodson said that after taking advice from Acle Medical Centre the closure would be extended for another two weeks until Wednesday February 26.
Mr Lee and Mrs Tang arrived back in the UK yesterday (Tuesday).
They are each in their 50s and 60s.
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They were tested at the airport and show no signs of the disease.
On arrival back in Acle, where they both live in different households, the people they share their homes with had been moved out.
Both are totally isolated and having food delivered to their doorsteps.
Mrs Goodson said that while they were away they had worn masks the whole time and not mixed with extended family, although normally they would go from restaurant to restaurant.
A notice on the door and circulated on Facebook said the members of staff had volunteered to quarantine themselves in their homes for 14 days for the welfare of customers.
"It's a small village and people get paranoid and they are totally within their rights. So this is for their safety," Mrs Goodson said.
"We have been there for 30 years and we have a good relationship with our customers and are a very busy takeaway.
"I went and got food for them yesterday and put the notice in the window.
"They have not got the coronavirus but I wanted to make sure that people knew there was no reason to be fearful."
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She said the couple had each been away for around three weeks.
The takeaway was due to re-open today (Wednesday).
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Mrs Goodson said she phoned Acle Medical Centre looking for advice about 10 days ago.
"Obviously it is going to affect business with Valentine's Day coming up but at the end of the day I am bothered about human lives.
"And if they did have it they would never forgive themselves.
"It is just a precautionary thing. We want to be seen to be preventing anything that people would be frightened of getting."
On social media people have been quick to hail the "belt and braces" approach by the Full River.
Many have moved to thank the owners for taking "sensible action" and for being cautious.
Their thoughts were echoed by people in the village who said "good on them."
One woman, however, said there was a slight concern with it being so close to home.
She said: "If someone says they have a head cold you do think 'Are you sure?' because the symptoms are the same."
Teresa Randall, practice manager at Acle Medical Centre, said patient confidentiality prevented her from confirming who had been in touch about what.
Anyone contacting the surgery would be directed to the surgery's website or the Government website which advises a 14 day quarantine period, or to call 111 for advice.
She added that an isolation room had been set aside at the Bridewell Lane surgery in the event of any suspected case.
More than 45,000 people are now said to be infected with the virus which the World Health Organization has officially named Covid-19.
Since the Wuhan outbreak in China 1,115 are said to have died and 4,831 recovered.