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'NO ROOM TO MOVE'

Drinkers slam pub where ‘400 packed in like sardines’ saying ‘bouncer let anyone in’

DRINKERS today slammed a pub that saw 400 people packed in "like sardines" - claiming "anyone" was let in.

Brits were filmed filling in the The Crown and Anchor's beer garden in Stone two weeks ago - with health officials since warning 10 people had tested positive for coronavirus.

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Workers test locals at the Staffordshire market town of Stone after a spike in coronavirus cases
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Workers test locals at the Staffordshire market town of Stone after a spike in coronavirus casesCredit: Getty Images
People queue up to be tested for the bug
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People queue up to be tested for the bugCredit: Getty Images

The outbreak has now sparked the opening of a new emergency testing centre in the town with photographs today showing long queues of worried locals waiting to be tested.

Among the crowds waiting for answers was Erin, aged 18.

The young woman, from Newcastle, had been at the pub two Saturdays ago, saying: "It was horrible in there, we left early because it was quite difficult to social distance.

"The pub didn't take our details and there was no bouncer on the door limiting the numbers of people inside the pub until 9pm."


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The young woman said people were ordering at the bar like it was "a normal Saturday night."

She added "I'm happy the testing centre has been set up so we can put our minds at rest. We've got no symptoms."

Tyler Savage and Luke Walsh were also at the beer garden - with Tyler, 19, saying there would have been up to 400 people in the outside area.

The teen, who had been celebrating his birthday with the night out, said: "There were no restrictions and they didn't take our details.

"We've had no symptoms, but I live with my nana and grandad so it made sense to get tested.

"We've already been waiting for 20 minutes and I don't know how long it's going to take."

Dan Draper also headed to the pub just two weeks ago, with the 43-year-old saying he had tried to stay away from crowds but it became "more and more difficult" as people kept streaming into the boozer.

The Stone local said: "The bouncer was just letting people in.

"I've had no symptoms, but I've taken the advice from the council. I've got family and wanted to get tested. You've just got to get it done and it will give me peace of mind."

The over-crowding at the pub got so bad that Staffordshire Police were called on Saturday night on July 18 - giving the duty manager advice around social distancing.

A man takes a sample from a driver in Stone
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A man takes a sample from a driver in StoneCredit: Getty Images
The emergency testing centre was opened yesterday on the Crown Street car park
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The emergency testing centre was opened yesterday on the Crown Street car parkCredit: Getty Images
People have been warned to get tested if they were at the pub or came into contact with someone who had
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People have been warned to get tested if they were at the pub or came into contact with someone who had Credit: Getty Images
A number of locals headed to the testing centre today
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A number of locals headed to the testing centre todayCredit: Getty Images
The Crown and Anchor in Stone, Staffordshire
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The Crown and Anchor in Stone, StaffordshireCredit: Getty Images
Video footage shows hundred of pub goers crammed into the beer garden
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Video footage shows hundred of pub goers crammed into the beer gardenCredit: Stoke Sentinel / BPM Media
Anyone who was at the pub between July 16 and 18 has been advised to get tested
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Anyone who was at the pub between July 16 and 18 has been advised to get testedCredit: BPM Media

But even those who weren't at the pub are now among those waiting to get tested today.

Claire Leese and Dawn Perrins said they hadn't been to the Crown and Anchor but said their employer urged them to get tested as they live in Stone.

Dawn, 51, said: "We haven't been to the pub and I think it's disgusting what's happened.

"I've seen the video on social media and it's shocking. But it's good that so many people have come out to get tested.

"The pub should have been following the guidelines in the first place. We seem to have gone 10 steps back now.

"Now it's on our doorstep everyone seems to take it more seriously, but they should have been taking it seriously before.

"We want to get back to normality, but I think we're going to go into a local lockdown in Stone because of this. We don't know where else the people who visited the pub have been.

"It's frustrating because we've worked really hard to keep our distance. It's a concern."

MP for Stone, Bill Cash, said authorities were moving as fast as they can, calling the situation at the Crown and Anchor “very serious”.

The testing unit will run for four days, from Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2.

On Facebook, the pub said: "Due to the overwhelming amount of people visiting the Crown and Anchor on Saturday, we have decided to close this weekend to be able to review our risk assessment in order to deal with the difficulty that we faced with social distancing.

"By saying that we are grateful and appreciative of all our customers and want to make it a safe environment for you when we reopen next weekend. We will be posting our updated guidelines."

The Sun Online has reached out to the pub for comment.

Hundreds of people queued outside the centre
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Hundreds of people queued outside the centreCredit: Getty Images
A tester waits to check a driver who arrived at the centre
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A tester waits to check a driver who arrived at the centreCredit: Getty Images
The testing unit will run until August 2
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The testing unit will run until August 2Credit: Getty Images
It will open from 11am to 3pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday and Sunday
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It will open from 11am to 3pm on Thursday and Friday, and from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Saturday and SundayCredit: Getty Images
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