UP TO 500 pub-goers and diners in Salisbury have been told to take extra precautions after traces of the nerve agent blamed for striking down a Russian spy and his daughter were found at two city locations.

The warning came from Dame Sally Davies, Chief  Medical Officer of Public Health England, who said the warnings were part of a "belt and braces" approach.

She said the risk was low based on the evidence they have.

She said "Rigorous scientific analysis has been ongoing and continues but we have now learned there has been some trace contamination in both the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury."

She said she is confident it has not harmed anyone in those locations "however some people are concerned that prolonged long-term exposure to these substances may over week and particularly months arise to health problems.

"I'm therefore for advising as a belt and braces approach for people who were either in Zizzi's restaurant or the Mill pub from 1.30pm last Sunday until closing on Monday should clean the clothes they wore and the posessions they handled while there." 

She said "this means wash clothing you haven't already, ideally in the washing machine. Any items that cannot be washed and would be normally dry-cleaned should be double-bagged in plastic until further information is available. Wipe other personal items such as phones and hand-bags and other electronic items with baby wipes and dispose of them (the wipes) in the bin. Wash other items, such as jewellery and spectacles with warm water and detergent."

Paul Cosford, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection at Public Health England (PHE) said: "All known first responders have been contacted through their organisations and encouraged to seek further advice should they experience any symptoms. The sites recently visited by the 2 people affected have all been secured and PHE is reminding local clinicians of the symptoms to look out for.

"Based on current evidence, the risk to the wider public is low and it is likely that, had any member of the public been exposed to the substance, they would have presented with symptoms by now. However, anyone who was in the area and is concerned because they feel unwell, should dial 111 or 999 depending on the severity of their symptoms."