Two Exmouth laundrettes close as coronavirus pandemic looks set to escalate

The Littleham Cross Laundrette. Picture: Google

The Littleham Cross Laundrette. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

The owner of two Exmouth laundrettes forced to close due to coronavirus has given some dos and don’ts for washing clothes.

Jef Pirie has announced that the Exmouth Laundrette, in High Street, and the Littleham Cross Laundrette, have closed over fears for his own and his staff’s safety.

A sign in the window directs people towards Alan’s Laundrette, in Exeter Road, which is still trading.

Mr Pirie, who is in his 70s, said he is ‘deeply sorry’ to his loyal customers for having to close.

He said: “I was trying to keep them open, but I am over 70 so if there is an emergency, and I need to get there, I can’t.

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“Plus, my staff are all vulnerable people as well and I didn’t want them to carry on working.

“At the moment, I feel sorry about closing but we don’t know what the situation is going to be like in a month’s time.

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“I am losing a lot of money because of this, but at times like this I am not going to risk my life or those of my staff.”

The latest government advice is for people to stay at home except in certain circumstances, including essential shopping and going to work where it cannot be done from home.

Businesses other than supermarkets and other vital services, including laundrettes, have been forced to close.

He said, as Covid-19 escalates, if the demand for laundry services increases too high, he will consider re-opening one of his shops and would employ a manager to run it.

Mr Pirie said anyone continuing to use a laundrette should wait outside if they see someone using the machines.

When they have finished and see someone waiting to come in, should ‘go for a walk’ or come back later.

People should not shake their clothes out while in the laundrette.

Those washing their clothes at home should:

Wash clothes with non-biological powder at 60 degrees centigrade

Use cottons over synthetics – the virus lives longer on synthetics

Flat materials like leather can be wiped down

Sterilise laundry baskets

Health care workers should wash their clothes as soon as they get home.

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