The man involved in the Thursday incident is said to be in his mid-30s. Police initially cordoned off the street where he was found, saying in a statement that they were taking "highly precautionary measures to ensure public safety." An hour or so later, they reported that the man had been taken to the Salisbury District Hospital, where he was "fully assessed by medical staff."
"We can now confirm that there is no concern for either his health or any wider risk to the public," the update stated. "We understand that out initial response to the incident may have looked alarming, but we hope you appreciate why we needed to take this highly precautionary measure."
Unconfirmed social media reports suggested that the man in question is homeless and fell ill outside of the Tesco near the restaurant. A witness told Sky News that the man was "sat on the floor, completely conscious [and] talking" as emergency personnel questioned him.
Salisbury and the surrounding area have been on high alert after a series of mysterious poisonings. Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old resident of Wiltshire, died Sunday after apparently being exposed to the nerve agent. Both Sturgess and her partner, Charlie Rowley, were exposed. Rowley is still in critical condition.
Footage of the latest scene quickly surfaced on social media, showing emergency officials putting on protective clothing.
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Concerns about the novichok nerve agent were kicked off in early March after Yulia and Sergei Skripal were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury. Following an investigation by UK officials, it was alleged that the two had been exposed to the agent and that the incident was orchestrated by Russia. The allegation has repeatedly been denied by the Russian government, which has called for a transparent investigation.