BAE Systems has apologised after a testing error caused two local pubs to undergo deep cleaning, with one having to temporarily close.

The Royal Hotel, Barrow, and the King Alfred, Walney, were both told a customer who had been in their pubs had tested positive for coronavirus.

However, it was later revealed the man had never tested positive and the first positive test was down to ‘human error,’according to one pub boss.

BAE, who have a testing facility at their shipyard in Barrow, apologised for the anxiety caused by the mistake and said they are working to prevent a similar occurrence happening again.

The testing facility has so far carried out more than 46,000 tests, with last week's case being the first known incident for the company.

A spokesperson for BAE Systems said: “We apologise for any anxiety and concern this may have caused, not only to the person concerned but also to the management of the pubs involved."

The Royal Hotel shut its doors on Friday night to conduct a deep clean and contacted customers who were in on the same night as the supposed positive customer.

Although the King Alfred remained open, they also carried out a thorough clean of their premises and contacted customers.

“As with any positive case we identify, it’s important to respond quickly to protect the individual and any close contacts," continued BAE's spokesperson.

“We accept our initial response was based on incorrect information and through a second test we were able to quickly determine the individual was in fact negative.

“So far we have carried out more than 35,000 tests and, while this incident is regrettable, we remain confident that this approach is key to protecting our workforce and the wider community.

“We will now work with our testing partner to understand what lessons can be learnt from this issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”