A HEXHAM restaurant has had to close its doors after a staff member has tested positive for coronavirus.

Vercelli, on Priestpopple, will be closed until Wednesday, June 16.

The Italian restaurant shared a message with their customers on Facebook this afternoon (June 7).

It said: "We have had some devastating news today as a member of staff has tested positive for COVID-19.

"We have identified all our staff members who have been in close contact with this employee and due to the nature of hospitality, working in small spaces, this has resulted in a large number of employees having to enter self isolation. Therefore, it is physically impossible to open our doors for this period and Vercelli Restaurant will close its doors ‪until Wednesday 16th June at 17:00‬.

"If you are believed to have been in close contact with our employee, test and trace will notify you of this.

"Prior to us opening ‪on Wednesday 16th June‬ we will carry out professional cleaning including ‘fogging’ the premises to ensure Vercelli Restaurant is safe for your return next week.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we will make contact with any affected reservations within the next 24hrs to cancel or reschedule.

"This is a reminder to everyone to continue to take this virus seriously and make sure you always ‘check in’ on the test and trace, wear your mask & follow social distancing guidelines until the government say otherwise.

"We are heartbroken but we will be back…AGAIN!"

Owner Jordan Dodwell said: "It's our third time closing.

"It's a bit more devastating this time because of the fact it's only us."

Jordan said it had been "amazing" being able to serve customers indoors since they re-opened on May 17.

He said: "It feels that bit worse [closing] because we have been busy and we were going to be very busy this week."