Walkers Crisps, the UK-based snacks business owned by US food and beverages giant PepsiCo, has seen an outbreak of Covid-19 amongst the workforce at its facility in Leicester in the English Midlands.

Some 28 workers at its Beaumont Leys site in the city have tested positive for the virus out of a total workforce there of 1,400.

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Walkers’ home base – Leicester – has become the UK hotspot for Covid-19 cases in recent days and a localised lockdown was introduced by the UK government earlier this week in an attempt to contain the virus.

In a statement sent to just-food, a Walkers spokesperson said: “The safety of our team and their families is our number one priority and we continue to maintain the highest level of vigilance to help prevent the spread of the virus and to protect our people. 

“We have seen an increase in the number of confirmed cases, reflecting the situation in the local community and coinciding with the roll-out and uptake of testing. 

“We are in regular contact with the local health authorities and government bodies and are reassured that we have all the correct measures in place to protect our employees.”

The company told UK national broadcaster the BBC that it does not anticipate any disruption to the supply of its products.

Employees with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 are self-isolating on full pay.

On Monday (29 June), UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester accounted for “10% of all positive cases [of Covid-19] in the country over the past week”. 

There have been 944 positive cases of the virus reported in the city in then last two weeks.