SHIPYARD bosses have quashed rumours there is an outbreak of coronavirus on their Barrow site.

Rumours had been circulating of a large number of positive cases at BAE Systems - but bosses said a significant amount of testing at the site has yielded only a small number of positives.

A BAE spokesman said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we’ve worked hard to make our site safe and Covid-secure.

"With safety our number one priority, we have reconfigured our site, introduced new ways of working and implemented a programme of pro-active, mass testing.

“This underlines our commitment to keeping employees and the local community safe and has so far helped us identify early and quickly deal with a number of positive cases."

The mass testing regime saw a car park turned into a testing facility, allowing employees to get a nasal swab test for the virus.

Since starting the programme in June, more than 76,500 tests have been carried out.

Of all of these tests, only 84 returned positive results.

As of 6.30pm on Tuesday - there were 33 employees that had tested positive and were isolating at home.

The site usually sees over 9,000 workers going about their day, but a serious downscale of the workforce in the name of safety now sees a maximum of 4,500 on site at any one time. A large amount of the workforce have not returned to the yard, with 2,700 employees now working from home.

A BAE spokesman said: “Just 33 people have received positive test results and cannot come in to work.

“We have carried out all these tests to keep staff safe at work and because it was the right thing to do.”