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Wiltshire Police Federation

Public Health England issue advice for Salisbury visitors

15 March 2018

Wiltshire Times - Jessica Wells

PEOPLE who visited Salisbury between March 4 and March 5 are being urged to wash their clothes and wipe down items such as mobile phones following the attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

Public Health England issued the “precautionary advice” after the pair were found slumped on a bench in the city on March 4, after being poisoned with a military grade nerve agent which has been linked with Russia.

The advice, which reiterates that the risk to the public is low, advises anyone in the town, especially those who visited The Mill pub or Zizzi restaurant, should wash the clothing they were wearing and to wipe items such as phones, bags and electronic items with baby wipes.

Items which cannot be washed, and would normally be dry-cleaned, should be put into two plastic bags tied at the top and stored until more advice is released by the organisation.

Paul Cosford, medical director and director of health protection at Public Health England, said: “The sites recently visited by the two people affected have all been secured and PHE is reminding local clinicians of the symptoms to look out for.

“Based on current evidence, the risk to the wider public is low and it is likely that, had any member of the public been exposed to the substance, they would have presented with symptoms by now.

“However, anyone who was in the area and is concerned because they feel unwell, should dial 111 or 999 depending on the severity of their symptoms.”

Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, remain in critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital while Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was one of the first to the scene, remains seriously ill in hospital.

Messages of support have poured in for DS Bailey, who helped investigate a case in Ogbourne St George last year, when masked men tied up, and brandished machetes at homeowners before stealing their possessions.

He was also recognised for outstanding police work in December 2016, after he helped put Salisbury rapist, Arthur Bonner, who sexually assaulted multiple victims between 1970 and 2014, behind bars for more than 14 years.