A McDonald’s restaurant has shut its doors after five staff tested positive for Covid-19 in an area of the West Midlands where there has been a surge in infections.
The restaurant in Great Bridge, Sandwell, has been closed “as a precautionary measure following a rise of Covid-19 cases in the local area”, McDonald’s said.
People turning up at the branch off the main Black Country New Road were presented with a sign saying the restaurant has “temporarily closed for maintenance”.
It comes after the borough of Sandwell recorded an increased seven-day infection rate amid a jump in cases.
The closure came to light as Sandwell’s director of public health Lisa McNally urged businesses to let the council know if it had had two or more Covid-19 cases in their workforce.
There has been a sharp spike in infections across the borough, with the rate in the week to July 26 standing at 32.4 cases per 100,000, up from 23.2, according to official health figures.
There were 106 new cases over that period – the most recent for which figures are available.
McDonald’s closed its nationwide network of restaurants on March 23 as lockdown was imposed.
The first outlets began reopening to walk-in customers on June 17.
A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We have proactively decided to temporarily close our Great Bridge restaurant as a precautionary measure following a rise of Covid-19 cases in the local area with five of our employees testing positive.
“We have been in contact with all the restaurant employees and also with Public Health England and the environmental health officer.
“As with all of the decisions we have made across this unprecedented period, the safety of our people and customers is our absolute priority and we will reopen as soon as we feel we can.”
Advising businesses this week, Dr McNally said: “We need businesses to let us know if they have two or more cases of Covid-19 among their workforce.
“We can help to prevent a larger outbreak.
“If businesses delay in letting us know then outbreaks can become out of control and the business may need to close.”