A CORONAVIRUS outbreak has been confirmed at a Sussex pub.

There have been 16 cases of the illness linked to The Downsman pub in Crawley, the town's council said.

Now visitors to the pub are being urged to self-isolate as the authority attempts to prevent the infection from spreading further.

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A Crawley Borough Council spokesman said: "We were notified of an outbreak of Covid-19 at The Downsman pub in Crawley earlier this week and since then Public Health England has been organising contact tracing of staff and customers.

"There are 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus with a link to the pub and, while this is a relatively small number and may not be the definite source of infection for all these cases, we are asking people to take action to ensure the virus does not spread further.

The Argus:

"If you were in The Downsman pub between July 9 and July 18 (excluding July 16) please self-isolate for 14 days from the date of your last visit."

The Downsman pub closed on Sunday after two staff members were confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.

A third has since tested positive for the illness.

In a statement released at the weekend, the pub said: "We have taken the decision to temporarily close The Downsman after two members of our team tested positive for Covid-19 this afternoon.

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"The staff members took tests as a precaution despite showing little to no signs of symptoms, and have not been on the premises since early last week and are now self isolating.

"We have been in contact with Public Health England to make them aware of the situation and as a result we have chosen to close briefly to carry out a further deep clean of the pub as a precaution for the safety of our customers.

"We have followed all of the required steps at this stage and the details of customers who have visited us have been made available to the NHS Test and Trace team.

"We expect to be back open again very soon once we are assured that it is safe to do so.

The Argus:

"Thank you all for your understanding at this time and we hope to see you soon."

Crawley Borough Council also issued advice to anyone who feared they might have caught coronavirus.

A spokesman said: "If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must self-isolate and get tested.

"Symptoms include a high temperature, new continuous cough and a loss or change in your sense of taste and smell.

"If you develop symptoms your household contacts will also be required to self-isolate.

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"More information on self-isolation is available on the NHS website.

"If you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, you will need to complete your 14-day isolation period even if you test negative.

"Coronavirus is still with us and as restrictions are eased it is very important to continue to take action by hand washing with soap and water regularly, keeping a good social distance from people not in your household, wearing a face covering in shops or when keeping a safe social distance is not possible.

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"Residents are asked to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus. If you do visit a pub or restaurant, please record your contact details with the premises.

"West Sussex County Council Public Health and Public Health England are continuing to monitor the situation and will organise contact tracing for any further identified cases who may have visited the pub."