Ikea hit by coronavirus as 73 workers sent home following mass outbreak at Reading store

SEVENTY three Ikea workers have been sent home to self-isolate following a coronavirus outbreak at a store in Reading.

In total, 13 employees at the furniture giant's store have tested positive for the bug.

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Of those sent home, 60 were told they can’t work because they could be at risk of infection, according to NHS Track and Trace.

The Swedish flat-pack store in Reading, Berks, is currently closed to the public due to England's nationwide lockdown.

Its click and collect service, however, is still operating.

Kim Chin-Sung, IKEA Reading Market Manager, said: "The health and safety of our customers and co-workers is our top priority.

“We have extremely robust safety measures in place, including social distancing, protective screens and additional regular cleaning.

"On Saturday, we were made aware that a co-worker had tested positive for Covid-19.

"Shortly after this, other co-workers began receiving alerts from the NHS Track and Trace System in the normal way, and were immediately sent home to self-isolate on full pay.”

Ikea's Reading Market store – which has been hit by queuing problems since it opened in 2016 – employs up to 350 staff.

It comes after Ikea's click and collect service descended into chaos in Manchester over the weekend, with drivers having to wait for up to three hours to collect their purchases.

Police were even called to deal with the chaos caused by an online shopping backlog.

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