Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck has closed for two weeks after multiple members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.
The three Michelin-starred restaurant, now in its 25th year, had opened on August 15 with a celebratory menu series, but closed on October 14 after the outbreak.
Blumenthal’s team said it had been “proactive” in its approach to testing and would not under any circumstances risk staff or customers. Staff are now self-isolating and the restaurant will remain shut during the period.
People who had booked a table from October 14 and the 14 days thereafter were told they would be contacted to have their booking rearranged.
A statement from The Fat Duck said: “These are hugely unprecedented and difficult times and since we reopened The Fat Duck in August, we have stringently followed all of the Government’s Covid safety advice and guidelines. As part of this, to continuously monitor the safety of our staff and our guests, we have been proactively testing our full team on a regular basis.
“Unfortunately in the past few days, a number of employees have returned positive tests, which has resulted in them self-isolating at home. At The Fat Duck we pride ourselves on providing the very best experience but more important is the wellbeing of our staff and guests which always comes first.
“We have therefore decided to close the restaurant as of 14th October for the mandatory two-week self-isolation period. We have made this proactive decision which we hope will act as a circuit-breaker and ensure Covid-19 doesn’t spread to our other staff.
“We want to be in front of the situation so we are working closely with the relevant organisations and local authorities and will continue to monitor the situation during these next two weeks, taking all the necessary steps to minimise risk to anyone else in the business.”