Camelot coronavirus shutdown

Camelot’s headquarters were evacuated after a member of staff was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The team member at the National Lottery operator’s Watford head office came down ill after returning from Thailand last week.

A source close to the diagnosed staff member told betterRetailing the floor was evacuated ‘within hours’ of the person becoming ill on Thursday 5 March. Colleagues were sent home and told to self-isolate on Thursday while they awaited testing for the virus. Testing of the unwell staff member confirmed the illness was the Covid-19 virus on Sunday 8 March.

The staff member is understood to have been admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties on Wednesday 11 March.

The source praised Camelot’s response, claiming those told to self isolate were to receive full pay and that the quick action was likely to have prevented further cases.

Another source confirmed that the company’s retailer operations were affected by the quick action. An automated message on Camelot’s retailer helpline said: “Due to circumstances beyond our control we have had to close our call centre early.”

The head office and call centre is understood to have now re-opened.

Read more articles on The National Lottery

A Camelot spokesperson told betterRetailing: “We can confirm that a Camelot employee, who has recently returned from Thailand, has been diagnosed with Covid-19. This colleague is receiving medical advice and we are in continued contact with them.

“In line with Public Health England advice, we have temporarily closed our Watford head office while we speak to the relevant authorities to determine next steps. Many colleagues have the ability to work from home, and The National Lottery will operate as normal and draws will happen as planned.

“We are advising colleagues who had direct contact with the affected employee to seek medical advice via NHS 111, and to contact their manager if they begin to feel unwell. Our priority is the health of our employees and we are keeping them fully informed of developments, as well as providing them with advice in relation to coronavirus.”   

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