THE temporary closure of a Fordingbridge restaurant due to staff having to self-isolate  has been described as "soul destroying". 

La Lambretta on Shaftesbury Street made the announcement on its Facebook today (Monday, July 19) as lockdown restrictions are eased as part of the government's fourth phase in its roadmap out of lockdown.

Marco Stefanini, who runs La Lambretta, said: "Being forced to close on the same day as the rest of the country is opening up because more than half my team have been 'pinged' is soul destroying.

"We've worked so hard to confront all the challenges of the last 16 months. I had to call over 100 people this morning to cancel bookings including several long-standing ones for special celebrations.

"I consider myself very fortunate to have a fantastic team and wonderful customers who have all been so supportive. A special 'thank you' to every one of those customers that had a booking with us this week for being so understanding and predominantly concerned that we were alright.

"La Lambretta will be re-opening its doors as soon as we can and in the meantime we just want all our staff and customers to stay safe.

"We will encourage all our customers to continue wearing masks whilst not seated at tables and sanitise their hands regularly. We think it's a small ask that will hopefully enable small independent businesses like ours to survive the pandemic."

A post on the restaurant's website and Facebook page said "we look forward to welcoming you back from Monday 26th July".

The George in Bridge Street, last week told the Journal, it has had a number of bookings cancelled after customers received notifications to self-isolate from the track and trace app.

Caroline Roylance, who runs the pub, said: "We are now getting about five or six tables a day cancelling because someone's got pinged whereas when we first opened it was no-one."

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