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Man with coronavirus symptoms says he was not 'playing a prank' when he contacted The Royal Duke pub in Oakham

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A man who contacted a town pub to say he had coronavirus did it in good faith and was not 'playing a prank'.

The pub-goer came down with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday last week and made phone contact with businesses he had visited the previous weekend - including The Royal Duke in Oakham.

Owner Corinne Johnson closed the West Road pub for two days fro Wednesday last week (September 9) while pub staff underwent coronavirus tests in Leicester and the building was given a full deep-clean.

The Royal Duke in Oakham. Photo: Google 2018
The Royal Duke in Oakham. Photo: Google 2018

However, because there are not enough Covid-19 home testing kits available, the man who fell ill has not been able to take a test to confirm whether or not he had the disease. He does not have a car to drive to a testing centre, and self-isolating rules mean he couldn't ask someone else to take him.

He said: "I was on the Government site every few hours trying to get a test sent to me, but each time it came back with the message that tests weren't available and to try again later. Now it's too late to take that test - it has to be taken in the first five days of having symptoms."

The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, says he has been self-isolating at home since Wednesday, having spoken to his GP by phone.

If he had received an official test returning a positive result, health officials would have contacted places he had visited on his behalf as part of the NHS Test and Trace scheme. He says he contacted the businesses himself because he thought "it was the decent thing to do" in the circumstances.

Speaking previously, Mrs Johnson from The Royal Duke had said it was "an awful thing to do to a business", adding: "It’s affected jobs and people’s lives.”

Mrs Johnson said her issue was that she believed the man had told her and other businesses that he had received a positive result, sending them into a panic. The man says he had described it as a suspected case.

“You have to look at the positives though," Mrs Johnson added. "We’ve had a good deep clean and everywhere is thoroughly sanitised.”

The staff tests came back with negative results and they too have returned to work.

MORE: Town pub speaks out against coronavirus rumours

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