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‘People are worried’ - Town businesses feel impact after coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry

PUBLISHED: 15:09 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 28 August 2020

The Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A community is coming to terms with being at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak which has seen a factory partially closed and hundreds of workers sent home.

The Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Banham Poultry factory in Attleborough is at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Banham Poultry, one of Attleborough largest employers, shut its cutting room on Thursday (August 27) as 80 Covid-19 cases were recorded among the workforce.

All 350 staff working in that area of factory have been asked to isolate for 10 days if they return a positive test, and 14 days if their test comes back negative.

Tim Cobb, owner of The Bakery in Attleborough, has been left Tim Cobb, owner of The Bakery in Attleborough, has been left "lost for words" after the coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry. Picture: Denise Bradley

The outbreak has come as a huge blow to Attleborough, a town only just emerging from two years of roadworks and controversial social distancing measures at the height of lockdown.

MORE: Banham Poultry defends safety record after coronavirus cases rise to 80

Tim Cobb, owner of The Bakery on Church Street, says a sudden rise in coronavirus cases was the last thing the community needed.

“People are worried,” said Mr Cobb. “I can tell you for certain the outbreak has had an adverse affect on business - customers just aren’t coming out.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBanham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“As a business community we have only just got over the roadworks and the initial Covid crisis, and then this has been chucked at us. I am lost for words, really - what else can be thrown our way?

“I don’t care what anyone else says - this has had an affect on people coming out. You can see more people are wearing their masks all the time, rather than just in shops.”

Sue Shilling, manager at the RSPCA charity shop in Attleborough, says the coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry has had a significant impact on business. Picture: ArchantSue Shilling, manager at the RSPCA charity shop in Attleborough, says the coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry has had a significant impact on business. Picture: Archant

MORE: Specialist advice needed over whether Banham Poultry coronavirus tests need to be extended

On Exchange Street, Sue Shilling, manager at the RSPCA charity shop, said the Banham outbreak had “definitely” affected business.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBanham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Since reopening it has been full-on and constantly busy,” she added. “After the Banham outbreak, donations and footfall have gone down dramatically.

“We were just getting back on track and now it’s going pear-shaped again. People are very concerned and those who are still coming out have not felt comfortable.”

The coronavirus R rate has risen closer to 1 in the east of England. Picture: ArchantThe coronavirus R rate has risen closer to 1 in the east of England. Picture: Archant

Samantha Taylor, landlady at the nearby London Tavern, said she empathised with punters choosing to stay away from pubs.

“This has obviously been the talk of the town and it has got to be taken seriously,” said Mrs Taylor.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBanham Poultry in Attleborough, where there has been a coronavirus outbreak. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I’m not expecting a massive impact on business, but I completely understand people’s concerns.

“There are customers who are still not coming back, regardless of Banham Poultry. They’re going out shopping, but aren’t ready to socialise at the pub.”


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