THE decision to temporarily close a popular fish and chip restaurant in Poole was made by the owner - who had a "horrendous" bout of Covid last year.

The Lakeside fish and chip restaurant made the decision to close following a member of staff's positive Covid test and in order to “keep our team and customers safe”. 

For Lakeside owner Jason Leese, preventing the spread of Covid-19 is of personal significance following his own experience with the virus. He told the Daily Echo: “I was hospitalised with Covid at the start of the pandemic last year and it was truly horrendous.

“Having experienced just how bad it can be, I want to keep everyone as safe as possible. The safety of our loyal staff and customers is paramount.

“We’re working closely with local authorities to get back open as soon as we can.”

He also said that the restaurant, located in Lifeboat Quay in Poole, would be fumigated and he ensured that each member of staff would take a Covid test.

Jason, who has been in the fish and chip industry for more than 30 years, added: “Until we get the results back there’s nothing we can do except wait and hopefully get a new team deployed as soon as possible. We’re taking the right steps and the last thing we want is to make any of our wonderful customers sick with this awful virus.”

A family run business, Jason owns the restaurant with his brother Wayne and they have been involved in the industry since leaving school in 1987.

Closed until “further notice,” the restaurant has apologised for any inconvenience and encourages customers to keep an eye on their social media accounts for updates.

Lakeside Fish and Chips is an award-winning restaurant, having been voted best Dorset fish and chip shop multiple times. In 2018, the restaurant beat thousands of nationwide competitors to be named one of the UK’s Top 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways, in a list compiled by trade publication Fry Magazine.