OWNERS chose to close a pub after two members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The decision to temporarily shut The Downsman in Wakehurst Drive, Crawley, was taken on Sunday.

A third employee has since been confirmed to have contracted the illness.

The family which runs the pub also operates two others in the area, The Grasshopper and The Greyhound, and the general manager has now sent a message to customers reassuring them that their other two sites are safe to continue to visit.

The Argus:

He said: “Since the reopening of pubs on July 4 we have put in place a number of measures to ensure the safety of our customers and our teams.

“Our family operates three pubs in the Crawley area – The Downsman, The Grasshopper and The Greyhound – which are run by entirely separate teams.

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“All three pubs have social distancing measures in place and we have followed the government guidelines to make sure our pubs are Covid-secure.”

He said it was a “great shock for the team” when three staff members tested positive for Covid-19 and wished colleagues “all the best with their recovery”.

The Argus:

He said: “We have been in contact with Public Health England and Crawley Borough Council to ensure we are following all the necessary steps to protect public health.

“While The Downsman is closed so we can thoroughly clean the pub, The Greyhound and The Grasshopper are safe to remain open as there is no crossover between the three pubs.

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“There are no staff working at multiple pubs and members of our family haven’t seen each other since our pubs opened up two weeks ago.

“We have also checked this with Public Health England who advised us that there was no need to close either The Grasshopper or The Greyhound.

The Argus:

“We have made available the details of those who visited The Downsman for the NHS Test and Trace team if they require them and we hope to have the pub back open again very soon once we are assured that it is safe to do so.

“We would like to repeat our thanks to all our customers for their support and understanding at this time.

“We clearly did not want to be closing any of our pubs so close to reopening but we wanted to put people’s safety first and do the right thing.

The Argus:

“We hope this offers reassurance that we are doing all we can to protect public health and that The Grasshopper and The Greyhound are safe to be open and welcoming customers.”