// Lidl closed its Middlesbrough branch after staff contracted Covid-19
// The store remained closed over the weekend due to a shortage of staff
Lidl has become the first supermarket in the UK to close the doors of one of its branches due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The German discounter was forced to close its Middlesbrough branch on Friday after several staff members were tested positive for Covid-19.
The store remained closed over the weekend due to a shortage of staff amid the outbreak.
It is not currently known how many members of staff have tested positive for the virus.
Lidl said it must reopen the store as soon as possible to ensure households have access to the essential food and products they need.
Middlesbrough Council has previously said the TS3 postcode area home to the Lidl store had a high number of deaths due to Covid-19.
Those living in the area received a leaflet reminding them of the importance of following the coronavirus lockdown guidelines.
“All supermarkets are currently operating under exceptional circumstances, and the safety of our colleagues and customers is critical to us,” Lidl said.
“We have been in touch with those members of our team that have tested positive for Covid-19, to offer our support and wish them a speedy recovery.
“We fully understand that this is a concerning and difficult time, not only for our own workforce but for the whole country.
“We have been closely following government advice throughout this period and have stringent measures in place across all of our business areas to protect colleagues and customers.
“Our teams are all playing a crucial role in continuing to feed communities across the country.
“It is therefore vitally important that we reopen the store as soon as we can, to ensure that households have access to the essential food and products they need.”