Nationality of pair not revealed after a witness on Sunday reported they were Russian
A couple who fell ill in an Italian restaurant in Salisbury, sparking a fresh novichok scare, were not exposed to any kind of nerve agent, police have confirmed.
The pair, a 42-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, were taken to hospital on Sunday evening after becoming ill in a Prezzo restaurant.
A major incident was declared but Wiltshire police were able later that night to rule out that the pair had been exposed to novichok, the nerve agent used in the attack on the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in March.
A police spokesperson said: Tests have confirmed that the two patients who fell ill in Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday evening were not exposed to any kind of nerve agent. Following test results, at this stage, this is not being treated as suspicious.
Enquiries into what caused the pair to become unwell are still ongoing. However, due to the recent events, scientific tests were undertaken to establish if they had come into contact with novichok, or any other type of nerve agent.
These tests have concluded that this was not the case. Therefore, at this stage, we are not linking their illness to the recent poisonings in Salisbury and Amesbury. Wiltshire couple Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess fell ill in Amesbury after being exposed to novichok in June. Sturgess later died.
Questions remain about what happened on Sunday. There has been no explanation of the pairs condition and no confirmation about their nationality.
The police said queries about their condition had to be directed to Salisbury district hospital.
A hospital spokesman said: Due to reasons of patient confidentiality we cannot comment on individual patients.
The force said it was usual protocol not to release details about nationalities.
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