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Two more Co Down businesses close after staff test positive for Covid-19

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Kent Amusements, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Kent Amusements, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Kent Amusements, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Two businesses in Co Down have closed after staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

Kent Amusements and Bon Bon, both in Newcastle, announced the closures on social media.

In a statement, Kent Amusements said: "Unfortunately, this morning Kent Amusements has been notified that some of our staff members have tested positive for Covid-19. We will therefore be closed until further notice."

Kent Amusements said it had undertaken all precautions, risk assessments and procedures required to keep staff and customers safe.

It added: "We continue to carry out deep cleaning of the premises and all our staff will be tested for Covid-19.

"We will reopen when we are assured it is safe to do so.

"We thank all our customers and staff for their much appreciated support at this unprecedented time.

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Bon Bon, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Bon Bon, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

Bon Bon, Newcastle. Credit: Google Maps

"We also extend our best wishes to our staff who have tested positive, to other local businesses and their employees and the general public who have tested positive for Covid-19 and wish them all a speedy recovery and return to good health."

Sweet shop Bon Bon said management had been informed that a member of staff had tested positive for the virus yesterday morning.

"We shall be closed until further notice when we have had the proper guidance," a statement read.

"We had taken precautions earlier in the week and deep cleaned and made staff and customers wear masks due to so many local cases as we were hoping to prevent this situation.

"We would appreciate your understanding and support during this time."

It comes after a handful of coronavirus cases were confirmed at a SuperValu store in Newcastle earlier this week.

The latest Department of Health statistics show more than 6,000 people have now contracted coronavirus since testing began.

Another day passed with no further deaths, while 10 tests returned positive, the department said yesterday.

The death toll in Northern Ireland remains at 556.

It has emerged the Stop Covid NI app, launched last week, has been downloaded 170,000 times.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said: "Northern Ireland was the first region of the UK to have a functioning Covid tracing app and in less than a week it has been downloaded 170,000 times.

"This is almost 20% of the entire adult population of the country in a few days.

"Alongside the more traditional contact tracing which has been in operation for some time now we all hope it can help prevent spread of the virus."

Meanwhile Sinn Fein MLA Catherine Kelly has urged Education Minister Peter Weir to urgently publish a plan around children returning to school later this month.

She said parents are contacting her party's advice centres and schools "on a daily basis" seeking more information about the return to school.

"Only weeks away from the reopening of schools there is still no clear guidance from the minister," she said.

Mr Weir published guidance in June aimed at providing a "planning framework for the restart of schools in August/September".

This guidance states that Primary 7, and Years 12 and 14 should return on August 24 if it is safe to do so, while other year groups should return by the normal school starting date.

Face coverings are strongly encouraged in Northern Ireland's shops, but are not mandatory at present. The Northern Ireland Executive is due to review the policy on August 20, however, some have called for the region to follow England and Wales, where the wearing of face coverings is mandatory in shops.

Health Minister Robin Swann wants the review date brought forward to August 13, a move Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has indicated she supports.

After the Northern Ireland Executive announced that swimming pools and spas could reopen from July 24, the first are due to welcome the public in Belfast today.

Six pools will reopen, including the newly refurbished Andersonstown Leisure Centre in the west of the city, as well as Lisnasharragh, Olympia, Falls, Whiterock and Grove.

Belfast Telegraph