The hospitality sector was one of those hit hardest when the UK was put into lockdown following the outbreak of coronavirus.
Pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants are among those to have suffered considerably during a three-month period without any business.
Strict policies have been introduced in premises since being allowed to reopen from July 4 including one-way systems, hand sanitising stations and track and trace in a bid to protect both staff and customers from Covid-19.
But despite the protocols, a rising number of businesses across the North East have been forced to close with either customers, members of staff, or both, testing positive for coronavirus.
Recent Public Health England figures showed coronavirus cases doubled across the region to 151 in the week leading to August 14 from 70 in the previous week.
Gateshead’s public health chief Alice Wiseman has pleaded with the public to remain vigilant against the virus to avoid a local lockdown after seeing a spike in cases.
This has been echoed by Newcastle’s director of Public Health Eugene Milne, who has warned that Covid-19 remains a ‘very real threat’ with more businesses likely to close if people not pull their weight in fighting the disease.
He said: “We’re working very closely with businesses and they’re acting quickly to protect their staff and customers. But any letting up in this could result in more cases, more businesses closing, and while we don’t want to step in with enforcement measures, we will do if we have to.
“The onus is on all of us to stop the spread of the virus, and if we don’t do this effectively, we’ll see stricter measures imposed upon us as other parts of the country have already experienced.”
We have put together a list below featuring businesses that have had confirmed cases of coronavirus in the North East.
The city centre bar has temporarily closed after two staff tested positive for Covid-19.
Dat Bar, in Market Street, says all customers who may have come into contact with the affected staff have been contacted via the venue’s track and trace system.
Fellow employees have since tested negative but will self-quarantine for two weeks.
“We take the safety of our staff and customers and our responsibility for keeping our city safe and open very seriously.
“With the majority of our staff isolating, we are unable to open until all the team are back. It is a tough decision but the right one. Thank you for your continued support and patience. We look forward to serving you soon.”
The Shields Road restaurant said a number of other employees from the branch are also quarantining and being tested, despite not showing any symptoms.
The restaurant in Newcastle has remained open.
The popular Gosforth pub closed its doors after a member of staff and customers tested positive for Covid-19.
The County – which is operated by Greene King – will undergo “deep cleaning” for two days after a number of cases were linked to the bar.
In a Facebook post, management confirmed a staff member and a “small group of customers” who had visited the pub had tested positive for the coronavirus.
It reads: “After undergoing a deep clean we are planning to reopen our pub in the next few days and will update you when we’re back open.
“We understand many of you will want to know what action we have taken.”
A Newcastle McDonald’s restaurant has been deep cleaned after a staff member tested positive.
A spokesperson for the fast food chain said the employee at the Stamfordham Road branch, at West Denton Retail Park, had self-isolated after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.
The person subsequently tested positive themselves and had not returned to work.
McDonald’s said the restaurant has now been deep cleaned “as a precautionary measure” and has reopened.
Westerhope Golf Club
Members of Westerhope Golf Club are advised to get tested after a positive Covid-19 case was linked to the course.
Staff at the popular facility sent out an email confirming the coronavirus scare but said it would be open as usual on Friday, August 21.
A member who is thought to have picked up the coronavirus in a pub visited the Newcastle golf club on Wednesday, an email seen by ChronicleLive said.
Staff members or other members concerned they might have contracted the disease are being encouraged to get a test.
Miller & Carter
The Gosforth Park steakhouse closed its doors for a deep clean after three members of staff were found to have contracted the disease.
The restaurant has been closed since August 14 with a number of staff deciding to self-isolate following the news.
Miller & Carter has now revealed that it will be reopening for business at midday on Thursday, August 27.
Big Lukes Buffet Restaurant
The popular restaurant, in the Lower Yellow Mall, took the decision to close temporarily after a “number of staff” were identified as close contacts.
The Gateshead Legion Club
A deep clean was carried out last weekend after a customer tested positive for Covid-19.
Manager Jeff Moutter said the club received confirmation that a customer had tested positive on the afternoon of August 13.
He said the person was self-isolating, as were a number of other customers who had been sitting near them in the club.
The establishment was closed to the public for a number of days while it was cleaned by an external cleaning company.
The Deckham pub closed its doors on Wednesday, August 19, after a customer tested positive for coronavirus.
The affected customer was in the pub between 3pm and 7pm on Sunday August 16, Allan Dinning, who runs The Plough with Steve Ross, told ChronicleLive.
Mr Dinning explained The Plough was told on Wednesday evening about the positive test, management immediately informed patrons and staff who could have come into contact with the affected customer and shut the pub for a deep clean.
The Old Durham Road pub underwent a deep clean and was expected to reopen to customers again on Friday morning at 11am.
The pub had to close after a customer tested positive for Covid-19.
Phil Jeffries, owner of the Silksworth Road pub, announced the pub was being deep cleaned by UK Fogging Solutions.
But he also slammed the government for ‘not providing any help’ after losing up to £4,000 in revenue.
The pub was expected to reopen to customers again on Thursday.
Ryhope Cricket Club
Ryhope Cricket Club said a case of coronavirus was reported on Friday, July 31, leading to a suspension of all cricket activity for 72 hours.
A statement from club chairman Ian Lawrence and club secretary Alan Mason said the safety of players and parents is “paramount”.
The club reopened once again for members on August 5.
The Golden Fleece
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Silksworth pub said: “Unfortunately, we will not be open until further notice as an irresponsible customer who was showing Covid symptoms while awaiting their test results decided to have a night out.
“Today we have just got the news that they have tested positive.
“Sorry for any inconvenience this causes but our customer’s safety comes first.”
Following a deep clean, the pub was able to welcome back customers on August 2.
Stanley Empire Club
The town centre club has closed for 14 days after 15 people tested positive for coronavirus, with punters who visited over a three-day period being asked to self-isolate.
Durham County Council staff along with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace have worked together since the first suspected cases came to light to contact as many people as possible who visited the club on 9, 10 and 11 August to advise them to self-isolate.
So far, more than three-quarters of people who attended the club were contacted and now self-isolating.
A mobile coronavirus testing centre has now been set up at the rear of the Empire Club following the outbreak which began operating since Friday, August 21.
The Phoenix Club
The Stanley bar confirmed it was closing via social media on August 15.
A spokesman for the Phoenix Club, which is on Blooms Avenue, said: “Due to a customer testing positive we are going to close the club and get it deeper cleaned before reopening.”
The Ball Alley
The Stanley bar, on Shield Row, also confirmed it was closing its doors via social media on August 15 after a regular customer tested positive.
The pub has confirmed that all staff and customers who were in close contact with the punter have all tested negative for Covid-19.
A spokesman for The Ball Alley said: “The customer in question is thankfully fit and well and showing no symptoms and is self isolating.
“The building itself has undergone a fogging and deep clean in all public areas and we are good to open again.”
The pub reopened to customers again on Friday, August 21.
East Stanley Working Men’s Club
It has not been confirmed whether all the cases at the Phoenix Club, The Ball Alley, East Stanley Working Men’s Club and Stanley Empire Working Men’s Club, all in Stanley, are linked.
However, it is understood the same customer visited the East Stanley Working Men’s Club and the Empire bar on the weekend of August 8/9.
It is believed a second customer at East Stanley and two members of staff at the Empire club have tested positive.
The Marlborough, on Charles Street in Seaham, announced on Tuesday that it was closing for two days for a deep clean of the premises due to Covid-19.
They posted on their Facebook page: “Due to a recent confirmed case of coronavirus, we have taken the decision to close for the next two days for another deep clean.
“We chose to remain closed even after government guidelines said we could reopen. This was in the interest of our staff and customers, and this will always remain our priority.
“We thank you for your understanding.”
The Bottleworks, in Seaham, temporarily closed on Monday, August 17, due to a confirmed Covid-19 case.
The Church Street bar shut its doors for two days for a deep clean after a man tested positive who had been in the premises on August 9.
Writing on Facebook, a spokesman for The Bottleworks said: “Just to let everyone know The Bottleworks will be closed for the next two days for a deep clean as there has been a man confirmed with corona in Seaham who drinks around the harbour.
“He hasn’t been in The Bottleworks since August 9 but just to be on the safe side we are doing a deep clean.”
The Inn Between
The South Railway Street pub closed its doors as a “precautionary measure” over Covid-19 fears.
The pub confirmed associates of a confirmed case of the disease visited the establishment.
The Inn Between confirmed all their staff tested negative for the virus – but issued a stark warning to those flouting rules that they will close again if they have to.
The pub reopened to punters again on Friday, August 21.
ChronicleLive is currently unaware of any businesses requiring to close again in Northumberland due to a coronavirus case.
We reported that as of August 14 there had been 1,599 positive cases in Northumberland residents since the pandemic started.
However, the county’s director of public health has revealed fears an increase in tourism could cause a ‘small increase’ in Covid-19 cases.
Responding to a question at Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing board, Liz Morgan said: “At the moment, we haven’t seen any impact from tourism, but I don’t think we should be surprised if we do see a small increase based on the number of people visiting the county.
“What we have developed is a tourism charter, which is on the Visit Northumberland website, and we’ve started to do a lot of work with tourist-related workplaces and businesses.
“Of course, the more we start to mix as a society, the more likely it is that coronavirus is transmitted, which is why it’s still absolutely critical that we all comply with the rules around social distancing, hand-washing, the use of face coverings, etc.”
Hebburn Sports Club
The South Tyneside bar closed to the public after a customer tested positive for Covid-19.
The club confirmed on its Facebook page that a punter who visited the downstairs bar between 12.30pm and 2pm on Sunday, August 16.
The owners were made aware of the customer’s positive test result on August 19 and closed for two days to allow a deep clean to take place.
Hebburn Sports Club reopened once again to the public at midday on Friday, August 21.