A CONTRACTOR working in the shipyard has tested positive for coronavirus, BAE bosses have confirmed.

The manual worker was said to have been the first of nearly 6,000 staff tested in the last five weeks to read positive for Covid-19.

According to BAE bosses, the contractor, one of 2,500 working at the site, was asymptomatic for the virus and not from Cumbria.

He was also said to have been working in full protective equipment and not in any close proximity to any others.

Nevertheless, a small group of workers have been offered new tests for the virus as a precaution following the positive test from their colleague.

The contractor was told to go home and self-isolate for 10 days, in line with Government guidance.

The positive case was confirmed following a nasal swab test, the results of which are known within hours.

The workshop where he worked has been deep-cleaned , BAE said, while the site as a whole has been cleaned several times a day.

The positive test came the day after BAE announced that it would introduce a programme of mass testing of its staff as it attempts to bring back thousands of workers.

The submarine manufacturer hopes to bring back 5,000 staff by September.

Those returning to the site will be tested for coronavirus every seven days.

Plans are also in motion to send testing kits to staff working from home.

Bosses from BAE hope testing will help protect the town from any spread of the virus.

Cliff Robson, the managing director of BAE Systems Submarines said: “The introduction of a regular testing programme underlines our commitment to keeping employees and the local community safe.

“The vast majority of our workforce live locally, so this is a really positive move that will benefit everyone who works on our site, as well as the local community. We deliver critical defence programmes, so not only is this a vital health and safety measure, it’s also crucial to the recovery and sustainability of our business as we ramp back up following the impact of coronavirus.”