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Hundreds of diners and pub goers have been urged to wash clothes and other items a week after potentially coming into contact with the nerve agent used to attack former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The “precautionary advice” was issued after traces of the substance were found in The Mill pub and the nearby Zizzi restaurant, in Salisbury.

England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said she believed fewer than 500 people would have been in either venue between Sunday lunchtime and Monday night.

Dame Sally said: “I want to reassure the general public that the risk to us all from this incident in Salisbury has not changed, and that the risk to us all remains low.

“Rigorous scientific analysis continues, but we have now learnt that there has been some trace contamination by the nerve agent in both The Mill pub and Zizzi’s restaurant in Salisbury.

“I am confident this has not harmed the health of anyone who was in The Mill pub or Zizzi’s restaurant.

“However, some people are concerned that prolonged long term exposure to these substances may, over weeks and particularly months,
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give rise to health problems.

“I’m therefore advising as a belt and braces approach that people who were in (Zizzi’s or the Mill during the specified times) should clean the clothes they wore and the possessions they handled while there.

“This is precautionary advice aimed at only those people who were at the venues at these times, which I believe to be below 500 people. I am confident none of these customers will have suffered harm.”

The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam told BBC Radio Solent: “There has been a violation of this place and this community and it is more than an attack on individuals.”

Cordons remain in place across the city as investigators in hazmat clothing continue to delicately scour for clues.

Wiltshire Police confirmed it has charged a man who breached one of the cordons on Friday evening.

Jamie Knight, 30, from Salisbury, is suspected of assaulting a police officer, common assault,
milwaukee polo club goers should wash clothes after possible contact with nerve agent
criminal damage to a police vehicle and a racially aggravated public order offence.