A FIVE-STAR hotel in Darlington has had to close after a number of staff members were asked to self-isolate.

Today, Rockliffe Hall announced it would temporary close for the next two weeks after back of house and kitchen staff were told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

In a statement, bosses at the venue said it would have to close the hotel as it would not be able to operate its kitchens and restaurants.

Although the hospitality part of the venue has closed, the spa and golf course will remain open with existing safety measures in place.

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The statement said: "Here at Rockliffe Hall we rely on our biggest asset, our team, to make our guest experiences unique and memorable.

"Yesterday, a number of our back of house/kitchen team members were contacted by NHS test and trace and asked to self-isolate.

"With this in mind we are no longer able to operate our kitchens and restaurants to the high levels of service that we aim to deliver as a five-star hotel, and have therefore taken the difficult decision to close Rockliffe Hall for a short period of time.

"This will allow our team members to stay safe and rest at home in accordance with government guidelines.

"This decision has not been made lightly, but the health of our team members and guests remains our number one priority.

"As Covid19 cases increase across the North East we want to ensure that we are doing all in our power to mitigate any risks. We continue to closely follow Public Health England guidance at all times, and aim to full reopen on Monday 12th October.

"The Spa and Golf course areas will remain open for members and day visitors, with all existing protocols in place."

The statement continued to say that Rockliffe Hall is 'Covid-secure' and had been awarded the AA Covid Confident shield, the VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ kitemark and most recently the global GBAC STAR accreditation for its responsive approach to the ongoing pandemic.

It told affected customers that its usual booking terms and conditions would be waived, with customers being able to choose either a new date, or a full refund.

The statement added: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of Rockliffe Hall, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon."