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Fish and chip shop owner tells of coronavirus self-isolation

PUBLISHED: 15:55 01 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:13 02 March 2020

Tak Lam, owner of Lam's Fish and Chips in North Walsham, is back open for business. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Tak Lam, owner of Lam's Fish and Chips in North Walsham, is back open for business. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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A fish and chip shop owner has told of how he spent two weeks in self-imposed isolation as a coronavirus precaution after returning from a visit to Hong Kong.

Tak Lam, owner of Lam's Fish and Chips in North Walsham, is back open for business. Picture: Stuart AndersonTak Lam, owner of Lam's Fish and Chips in North Walsham, is back open for business. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Tak Lam, 63, from Lam's Fish and Chips in Station Road, North Walsham, undertook the voluntary measure after a one-week visit to see friends and family for Chinese New Year.

In the two weeks after his return he had no direct contact with anyone. Even his wife, Helen, moved out and lived with their adult children in Norwich.

During that time he avoided going into the chip shop, and restricted himself to their flat and garden at the back of the property.

Mr Lam said: "I cooked by myself, I ate by myself, and talk to myself!

"Every couple of days I went into the garden for exercise but most days I just did exercises inside, on the exercise bike. I also watched a lot of Netflix.

"The first week was all right but the second week did get a bit boring."

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Mrs Lam, 57, said: "I bought him food every two or three days and just left it on the porch. I didn't go in. We spoke to each other on the phone and that was it."

Mr Lam said he had not shown any symptoms of coronoavirus and nor had his family or friends in Hong Kong. The UK government currently only recommends self-isolation for travellers returning from China's Hubei province, Iran and affected areas of Korea and Italy.

But Mr Lam, who has run the fish and chip shop for 22 years, decided to self-isolate anyway to be on the safe side.

He said: "I thought it was responsible and considerate for all parties - my customers, neighbours and family. I've been here for almost 23 years now, so we didn't mind losing an extra two weeks' business to be extra safe."

But Mr Lam said business had been slow since they reopened on Wednesday, February 26.

He said: "The Wednesday was very quiet and the Friday, which is fish day, was also quite slow. But hopefully our customers will understand and it will pick up again soon."

Lam's has a 4.4-out-of-5 rating on Google and a 'good' food hygiene score.

The shop next opens on Tuesday, March 3 at 4.45pm.


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