Extra precautions at Ikea store in Birstall after Covid outbreak among staff

Extra precautions have been put in place at the Ikea store in Birstall after a Covid outbreak among staff.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 9:24 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 9:26 am

The store, based off junction 27 of the M62 at Birstall, is closed to members of the public but is open for home deliveries and click and collect services.

Around 14 members of staff within the Ikea food department tested positive for coronavirus last month, the Yorkshire Evening Post understands.

An Ikea spokesperson said the health and safety of its customers and co-workers was its "top priority" and said the store had temporarily closed the staff hot food counter as an extra precaution.

Ikea Leeds at Birstall.

People who work there are being provided with free pre-packaged meals as a replacement.

An email to staff said: "Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we've made it our number one priority to ensure you all feel safe and supported, and that is why we'd like to share, if you are already not aware, that co-workers from the unit are self-isolating at this time.

"We understand that this is a worrying time, but we would like to reassure you that our co-workers are at the heart of Ikea and we remain committed to your health and wellbeing.

"As an extra precaution, we will be suspending our hot food counter from noon today to reduce food handling, and instead, for a short time, will offer our co-workers pre-packed items such as sandwiches and snacks.

"You may still use the drinks machine and seating, so long as you remember to keep a two metre distance from others and remember to sanitise before and after using any equipment."

Staff were also reminded to wear their face coverings.

The email added: "We are currently looking into additional measures to ensure your health and safety, and will share more details on our plans shortly.

"As always please do not come into work if you have any Covid-19 symptoms as per government guidelines.

"If you need to isolate due to Covid-19, you will receive full pay for the entire isolation period, except in cases where you travel abroad and quarantine is imposed whilst you are away.

"This will apply to all co-workers, regardless of your role."

An IKEA spokesperson told the YEP: “The health and safety of our customers and co-workers is our top priority and we have extremely robust safety measures in place, including social distancing, protective screens and additional regular cleaning.

"In early February, a small number of co-workers tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, were in self-isolation at home on full pay.

"As an extra precaution and in addition to our already extensive measures in place, we have temporarily closed the co-worker hot food counter, instead providing pre-packaged meals to co-workers free of charge.”