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Norwich Primark open as usual after positive coronavirus tests

PUBLISHED: 11:32 06 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 07 September 2020

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant 2020

Primark customers in Norwich said they felt safe at the store today after the company confirmed a “small number” of employees had tested positive for coronavirus, but several questions remain unanswered.

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria PertusaPrimark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The Haymarket store opened as usual on Sunday morning, after Primark confirmed the positive cases on Saturday.

Primark said public heath authorities have been informed and said the safety of customers and employees remains its top priority.

But they have so far been unable to clarify when the cases were confirmed, how many employees have tested positive for coronavirus, what guidance has been given to staff and what contingency plans are in place and if all staff will be tested.

In a statement, a Primark spokesman said: “We can confirm that a small number of employees in our Norwich store have tested positive for Covid-19.

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria PertusaPrimark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

“Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our customers and employees, and we have detailed contingency plans in place in case one of our employees tests positive.

“In line with these plans, we have informed the public health authorities and we have followed all required measures to protect the safety of all our colleagues and customers.”

A queue of more than 30 people was outside the store as it opened on Sunday morning, with further shoppers heading in.

Alina Diaconescu said: “It felt safe, they are doing everything right. It seemed quite quiet.”

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria PertusaPrimark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Another shopper, Donna Lewis had arrived in the city for back to school shopping, and said it would not deter her to go in a store if it had confirmed staff had tested positive for coronavirus.

She said: “This is the first time I have been shopping since just before lockdown. No [it wouldn’t stop me], you have to get things. It is cheap.

“We have been so busy with work, we haven’t been able to get into Norwich”

News of the positive tests come 24 hours after Norfolk was placed on the national coronavirus watchlist as an “area of enhanced support” in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak at Banham Poultry.

Primark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria PertusaPrimark, on the Haymarket in Norwich, have confirmed a 'small number' of employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Being on the watchlist does not mean any further restrictions at this stage, but allows the county to draw on extra help from the government to help deal with an outbreak, including priority access to testing and test and trace.

On Friday, leaders at Norfolk County Council and the director of public health stressed it did not mean local lockdowns were inevitable.


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