Gelato Burger covid closure is ‘huge wake up call’

Gelato Burger shut voluntarily after one of its workers tested positive for Covid.

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Covid shutting down an Oban restaurant has been a ‘huge wake up call’ for the town, councillors are warning.

Although NHS Highland said it believed the risk to customers and the wider public to be ‘very low’ from the situation, Oban Lorn and Isles Area Committee has sent out a message to the public and businesses saying ‘there is a very fine balance between keeping everyone in our communities safe from the virus and enabling businesses to survive’.

The message followed Friday’s voluntary closure of Gelato Burger in George Street  after one of its back-of-house workers tested positive for the virus.

In just a few hours of the news breaking on Facebook, hundreds of people had commented and shared concerns, with some claiming there had been no track and trace in place. Gelato Burger restaurant and take away boss Peter Crolla Jnr of Crolla Gelato Franchising Limited later said a system was in place but he was ‘dreadfully sorry’ if some customers details had not been taken. He also promised a review of the procedure.

A number of other Gelato Burger staff have been identified as close contacts, tests are being arranged and they have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

Councillors, who held an emergency meeting following the closure, said they ‘absolutely recognise, acknowledge, and share the very real concern within the community’ and they have been seeking answers and assurances from NHS and council officers ‘that all possible procedures are in place and precautions being taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people in this area’.

Councillor Elaine Robertson who chairs Oban Lorn and Isles Area Committee said: ‘This is a huge wake- up call and a learning experience to everyone in this area.  The virus is still prevalent in our local communities and is far from over.

‘We know that many businesses in our local area have taken adherence to guidance extremely seriously and we applaud those who have engaged meaningfully and worked hard to adopt the new practices and ways of working required.

‘While the taking of customer details is voluntary we would appeal to businesses in the service sector in our community to please do this to support Scotland’s Test and Protect service.

‘There is a very fine balance between keeping everyone in our communities safe from the virus and enabling businesses to survive; it is therefore absolutely vital that we all continue to play our part in working to suppress the virus by adhering to the Scottish Government’s FACTS guidance.’

Councillors also wished the worker affected all the best for a speedy recovery and said they hoped Gelato Burger would have a safe reopening after working closely with the council’s Environmental Health Department and the Health and Social Care Partnership ‘to ensure compliance with mandatory guidance and adherence to Test and Protect.’

Bid4Oban Chief Executive Andy Spence said this week: ‘The lesson to be learned from this is that the town is not immune to this kind of thing happening which is why all the businesses in Oban need to be vigilant.’

The Covid scare did not appear to put off visitors at the weekend, Mr Spence said the town was ‘fairly steady’ probably with more staycationers than international tourists.

There have been no Covid-19 deaths in Argyll and Bute for the seventh week in a row, according to latest government figures.