Bifrangi UK in Lincoln has played down concerns that it brought workers to the city from high coronavirus risk areas of northern Italy, denying rumours that they had been in contact with the virus.
The company has said that no workers have shown symptoms.
There were said to be widespread concerns from within the Spa Road factory about whether the workers flown to the UK from Italy had been quarantined, and about what preventive measures are in place.
However, Bifrangi UK said it has been having open conversations with its workforce to explain the current NHS advice on travel from northern Italy.
All contractors coming from northern Italy were asked to self-isolate if they develop any symptoms, which none had by the time of publication.
Unsubstantiated rumours began to circulate on some social media platforms, leading the company to defend its current response against the illness.
Francesca Biasion, Director for Bifrangi UK, said: “Bifrangi UK has been having open conversations with our workforce to explain the current NHS advice on travel from northern Italy.
“All contractors coming from northern Italy have been asked to self-isolate if they develop any symptoms.
“At this time, none of them have developed any symptoms.
“The UK government does not advise people to self-isolate if they do not come from a high risk area; a specific number of towns that Bifrangi contractors have not visited.”
Schools and universities in the worst-affected regions of northern Italy have been preparing to close, or already closed, by March 4.
Public Health England advised returning travellers to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if they have travelled to the UK from lockdown areas in northern Italy since February 19, even if they do not have symptoms.
Lockdown areas in northern Italy are:
- In Lombardy – Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano
- In Veneto – Vo’ Euganeo
The travel advice also applies to other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini) for those who have travelled to the UK since February 19 and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if symptoms are mild).
As of 9am on Wednesday, March 4, a total of 16,659 people have been tested. Of these people 16,574 tested negative and 85 positive for COVID-19. This has seen the number of cases jump by 34 since Tuesday. The number of those tested has also risen by over 2,000.
In Lincoln, panic buying is also setting in with a notice in the toiletries aisle at Morrison’s on Tritton Road stating that “hand sanitisers are currently limited to two per customer due to increased demand”. Under the notice however, the hand sanitiser shelf was empty.