Covid outbreak forces week-long closure of popular Wigan pub

An outbreak of Covid has forced a Wigan businessman to shut his popular pub on what was to have been its busiest week in two years.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 12:52 pm

The Royal Oak on Standishgate was fully booked this weekend, not least because of England fans wanting to watch their team’s latest exploits in the Euros, and thousands of customers were expected to come through the doors over the next seven days.

But with several employees’ testing positive for coronavirus, owner Tony Callaghan said he had no choice but to put up the shutters for a week.

Frantic attempts are now being made to contact all those customers booked in over the coming days to explain the situation and try to get them in at one of Mr Callaghan’s other bars.

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Tony Callaghan outside the Royal Oak
Tony Callaghan outside the Royal Oak

He said: “To be honest I feel sick inside, but it just proves that the virus is still there and it’s still active.

“It’s a horrible decision to close the pub just as we were getting back on our feet. I don’t like to think how much money we will lose, but when several staff test positive for Covid then closing is a no brainer.

“The top priority is to look after our customers and our other employees.

“Hopefully all the staff affected will be OK.

“We were fully booked. This was potentially going to be our busiest week in the last two years, what with the England game. It’s a real pain.”

Mr Callaghan said that as many customers as possible who had booked were now being contacted by phone, text or email to inform them of the closure until next Friday and to offer places at alternative venues in the InnTheBar fold.

He added that he felt lucky that other venues hadn’t so far been affected in this way that come July 19 normality will have returned.

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