Multiple employees at a Perthshire potato packaging plant have tested positive for Covid-19.
Staff at Branston in Abernethy were confirmed to have the virus with several more forced into isolation because of the outbreak.
The company will now close down for around 36 hours from Friday to undergo a deep clean – though bosses say staff will still be paid in full during the shutdown and holiday days would be credited back to staff.
James Truscott, managing director at Branston, said the company was monitoring the situation closely.
“We can confirm that a small number of employees at our Abernethy site have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, as part of the NHS testing programme – several employees are also currently self-isolating as a precautionary measure,” said James.
“The number of Covid-19 cases on site throughout the pandemic has been exceptionally low, thanks to the measures we have in place and the way our hard-working team has adhered to the rules.
“We are now working in conjunction with the Department of Public Health to monitor the situation closely.
“The health and wellbeing of our workforce is always our first priority, therefore in order to even better protect our employees, we will be undertaking a full ‘deep clean’ of the entire site this weekend as a precautionary measure.”
The managing director insisted that the company had taken a number of precautions throughout the pandemic which has kept outbreak numbers at their facilities low.
“Our operational teams across the business have implemented numerous methods to help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce any risks,” said James.
“As well as enhanced hygiene procedures, we have strict social distancing measures in place – these are aided by limiting staff numbers on site, staggering shifts and break times, the provision of additional PPE, and safety screens placed throughout our factories.
“Face coverings are also compulsory within our factories and must be worn by all employees when away from their workstations.”
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