Kent Amusements shuts down amid local Covid outbreak

Kent Amusements County Down
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A number of staff-members at the iconic County Down seaside arcade, Kent Amusements, have tested positive for Coronavirus, leading management to temporarily shut down operations.


An isolated outbreak of Covid-19 in Newcastle, County Down, saw to it last week that a number of businesses were temporarily closed, including the local amusement arcade.

Posting on its Facebook page last Wednesday, Kent Amusements announced that “some” of its staff had tested positively for the virus, and that the premises would “therefore be closed until further notice.”

“We have taken all precautions, risk assessments and procedures required to keep our staff and customers as safe as possible,” added management. “We continue to carry out deep cleaning of the premises and all our staff will be tested for Covid-19.”

The closure of the arcade followed the discovery of what appears to be a localised outbreak in the coastal resort, with staff at a nearby sweet shop and supermarket having also tested positively for the virus.

The news unfolded on Monday last week when a local supermarket reported cases of Covid-infections, which promoted a deep clean at a neighbouring sweet shop which closed for the day. On the Tuesday, Bon Bon reported its own case had been identified and immediately closed. The following day the virus had worked its way to Kent Amusements which duly losed and implemented a deep clean of the entire facility.

The addition of ten new cases in Newcastle brings the total case count in Northern Ireland just past 6,000: with the total number of deaths remaining unchanged at 556. Meanwhile, of all active cases, only three people in the territory are presently in intensive care – with just one of them on a ventilator. Taken together, present statistics indicate that just 0.3 per cent of Northern Ireland’s population has tested positive for Covid-19, but the country’s mortality rate amongst those known cases remains high: at 9.2 per cent.

Perhaps to that end, the release of a new track-and-trace app, Stop Covid NI, has been met with considerable uptake: with around 20 per cent of the population having already downloaded the software, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the UK.

“As we move through the coronavirus pandemic, clusters of cases are expected,” commented a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency. “This is why the test, trace and protect programme is in place.”

Back at Kent Amusements meanwhile, and management have pledged to re-open “only when we are assured it is safe to do so.”

“We thank all our customers and staff for their much appreciated support at this unprecedented time,” they added. “We also extend our best wishes to our staff who have tested positive, to other local businesses and their employees and the general public who have tested positive for Covid-19 and wish them all a speedy recovery and return to good health.”

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