"we felt this was the responsible thing to do"
A well known Indian restaurant in Bradford has been temporarily shut down after seven employees tested positive for Coronavirus.
Bradford’s public health chief has welcomed the decision by the restaurant bosses.
She stated that there is “no reason to believe customers were at risk because the restaurant’s front of house Covid-19 safety measures are very robust”.
Akbar’s restaurant on Leeds Road was closed for a week as a precautionary measure after the seven staff members contracted Covid-19 during the month of August.
The positive cases at the restaurant all came within a short three-week window, with the last known case reported on August 20, 2020.
The owners of Akbar’s made the decision to shut down the premises for five days in order to protect staff and customers.
All infected staff members are self-isolating for at least 10 days until there is no longer a chance that they will be contagious.
Owner Shabir Hussain explained his reasons for the closure:
“We could have sent a number of our staff home to self-isolate and stayed open using other employees but we felt this was the responsible thing to do to make sure we are 100 per cent safe going forward.
“It also gives us a chance to give our people a bit of a holiday because they have been so incredibly busy during the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ promotion.
“We apologise to all our customers who have made bookings but hopefully they will understand that we all have to make sacrifices if we are to get the Covid-19 virus under control and protect the most vulnerable in our district.”
Bradford Council’s director for public health Sarah Muckle has praised Mr Hussain’s decision to close his Indian restaurant.
“The restaurant had good Covid-19 safety measures in place to protect customers and we agree with their decision.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Akbar’s team for the way they have worked with us on this and for the responsible, professional, proactive action they have taken.
“We have no reason to believe customers were at risk because the restaurant’s front of house Covid-19 safety measures are very robust.
“It’s never an easy decision to close a business but this kind of leadership is exactly what we will need if we are to get on top of small outbreaks and stop the virus spreading into our communities.”
Bookings are still being taken for when Akbar’s re-opens for business on Friday, September 4, 2020.