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Pub goers and diners warned to wash possessions after nerve agent found

A 24 hour watch has been in place at Zizzi since Monday Credit: PA

Pub-goers and diners in Salisbury are being urged to wash clothing and possessions after traces of a nerve agent were found.

Public Health England issued the advice as a precaution, but said the risk to the general public remains "low".

Anyone who was in The Mill pub between 1.30pm last Sunday and 11.10pm on Monday, or the nearby Zizzi restaurant between 1.30pm on Sunday and 9pm on Monday, are urged to follow the advice:

  • Machine wash clothing worn that day
  • Double-bag clothing worn that day which would normally be dry cleaned and await further advice
  • Wipe personal effects such as mobile phones, purses and wallets with babywipes
  • Hand wash jewellery
Prof Dame Sally Davies said the risk of harm was 'low' Credit: ITV

Prof Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said the risk of harm was "low".

But she told ITV that after "rigorous scientific analysis" there was some concern that prolonged exposure over weeks and months could cause health problems but it was "not a subject for panic".

She said the advice was a "belt and braces" measure, adding: "The risk to the general public remains low and I am confident none of these customers or staff will have suffered harm."

The Mill pub Credit: PA
Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Zizzi. Credit: PA

Trace amounts of the substance used to poison ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found at the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant.

They remain in a critical condition in hospital after being found on a park bench in The Maltings shopping precinct a week ago.

A third victim, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, was also admitted to hospital after falling seriously ill when he responded to the emergency, however his condition has since improved.

"While there is no immediate health risk to anyone who may have been in either of these locations, it is possible, but unlikely, that any of the substance which has come into contact with clothing or belongings could still be present in minute amounts and therefore contaminate your skin.

"Over time, repeated skin contact with contaminated items may pose a small risk to health.

This risk can be removed by taking the actions we are explaining in this leaflet

– Public Health England statement

It comes as Armed Forces personnel continue to assist police.

Soldiers were seen at the South Western Ambulance Service station on Saturday as a vehicle was winched on to the back of an Army low-loader and taken away.

Police investigating the suspected attack have identified more than 240 witnesses and 200 pieces of evidence, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.