A HAMPSHIRE fire station has been forced to close following a coronavirus outbreak among its staff.

Due to a number of firefighters testing positive for Covid-19, the decision was taken to temporarily close Romsey Fire Station.

But firefighters who have not been affected are planning to return to the station on Alma Road shortly and begin attending emergencies again.

While a "deep clean and wider testing" is being carried out, the public are being advised by a fire chief to follow government guidelines.

Daily Echo:

Assistant Director of Operations Kevin Evenett said: “As a precaution, Romsey Fire Station has been temporarily closed due to a small number of firefighters testing positive for COVID-19.

“We have rigorous plans in place to ensure our emergency response is not affected, and a deep clean and wider testing are underway. Staff members from Romsey Fire Station that do not test positive for COVID-19 will return to work shortly.

“I’d like to praise the hard work and dedication of all our staff during these challenging times and urge the public to continue to follow government guidelines.”

Daily Echo:

The outbreak follows a new firefighter scheme that has been launched and agreed by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), fire chiefs and employers.

Firefighters have been delivering essential items such as food to vulnerable people, driving ambulances and assisting ambulance staff, and collecting bodies in the event of mass casualties during the pandemic.