A COVID-19 outbreak among west Cumbrian bus drivers has been confirmed by Stagecoach.

A number of positive coronavirus tests from Stagecoach drivers have been received, with more employees self-isolating.

Although the drivers are based at the Lillyhall depot in Workington, services include those to and from Carlisle and the Lake District.

A spokesperson for Stagecoach said: “The safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers is our first priority and we have strict protocols in place around the management of Covid-19. We currently have a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus among our employees in Cumbria which are not linked.”

The has reassured customers that measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among staff and customers.

“We are taking all the necessary steps and following the health authority protocols to manage this.”

The spokesperson added: “We will continue to follow all of the government and health organisation rules and guidance in place to manage the virus.”

Cumbria County Council cabinet member for highways and transport Keith Little said: “I’m sure Stagecoach will be taking all the necessary precautions.

"Drivers are seated behind protective screens and so do not need to wear a mask while driving. Face masks will be worn if they need to leave the cab to help a passenger.

“Whether they were infected when working on the buses, I’d suggest probably not.”

Public transport has been running on limited capacity since being reopened to the public in July.

“They are limiting the number of people that can get on,” said Mr Little. “It’s not the easiest situation at all but I think the vast majority of the travelling public do follow the necessary precautions.”

Services have not been affected and Stagecoach are continuing to run the same timetable.

Reader Dominic Mahon said: “The source may not be passengers or cash, please don’t panic those who need to get the bus to work.”