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Rod Minchin/PA Wire
UK News

'Relieved' Wiltshire congregation allowed back to church hit by Novichok poisonings

The vicar of Amesbury Baptist said members were "relieved" to be allowed back to their building on Butterfield Drive after a "troubling time".

Rev Barry Davis said: "We are relieved and delighted that we can return home.

"It has been a troubling time for our town and our congregation.

"We are thrilled that we can now put this unhappy episode behind us and look forward once again as a church and as a community."

Novichok victims Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess visited the church before they fell ill in June, three months after the same substance was used against a former Russian spy and his daughter.

The pair was exposed to the deadly nerve agent when they came into contact with a perfume bottle discarded by the people behind an attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in March.

Ms Sturgess died eight days later.

Rod Minchin/PA Wire

Meanwhile, a restaurant in Salisbury visited by the Skripals shortly before they fell sick will re-open later this year.

Zizzi's in the city centre was closed following the incident. The eatery has been undergoing decontamination.

Alistair Cunningham, chairman of the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group, said: "This is a real milestone as Zizzi is the final site in the city centre to be handed back following the clean-up by specialist teams.

"This is really welcome news for Salisbury and marks the return to normal."

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