Coronavirus outbreak at Walkers shortbread factory

The company employs over 1000 people across two sites in Moray.

Coronavirus outbreak at Walkers shortbread factory Google Maps
Walkers shortbread factory in Elgin.

More than 30 staff are self-isolating after a coronavirus outbreak at a shortbread factory in Moray.

Employees at the Walkers’ site in Elgin tested positive and close contacts have been told to isolate.

The company has 400 staff in Elgin, where 17 people tested positive.

A spokesperson for Walkers said several of these cases were asymptomatic and were caught through mass screening action suggested by NHS Grampian.

A further 15 workers were told by either the company or NHS Track and Trace to isolate due to their proximity to someone who tested positive.

The outbreak has affected the factory, office and warehouses with measures being taken at another site in Aberlour which employs 700 people.

The firm said there are no positive cases in the Aberlour factory, but two employees who are working from home and one member of the canteen staff have tested positive.

Walkers said they were all self-isolating and production has stopped although it said this was an annual occurrence for maintenance purposes.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “We are aware of 22 cases of Covid-19 associated with Walkers shortbread.

“NHS Grampian’s Health Protection Team is working with management to support them.

“Those affected, and their close contacts, are self-isolating.”

Walkers’ spokesman, Jack Irvine, said: “We had a 70-minute meeting with NHS Grampian and numerous associates on January 20 [regarding] Covid related matters.

“The company gave an extensive rundown of safety measures in place and these were acknowledged as meeting current government standards.

“We have now closed production for 10 days, reopening on February 8. This is an annual occurrence for maintenance, painting, repairs etc.”