Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has once again criticized the “lack of evidence driving the governments decision to place England into further restrictions.
Wetherspoon’s has 13 pubs in England which are classified as tier one. In addition, there are 51 pubs in Wales, where the regulations approximate to tier one in England.
Tier two comprises 435 pubs. This tier includes 17 pubs in Scotland where the regulations approximate to tier two in England.
The company has 366 pubs which will remain closed. 315 of these pubs are in tier three in England. 51 are in Northern Ireland and Scotland. These 51 pubs have similar restrictions to tier three in England. This group of pubs will remain closed, since opening for takeaways, for example, is unlikely to be a realistic proposition.
Tim Martin said:
“The company has campaigned for pubs to revert to the rules agreed between the pub industry, civil servants, local authorities and health officials, which were introduced when pubs reopened in July.
“These rules greatly reduced pub capacity and provided strict social distancing and hygiene standards but, with difficultly, allowed pubs to trade viably. It is very disappointing that yet another raft of regulations has been introduced, which has effectively closed half our pubs. In reality, the government has extended a form of lockdown, by stealth, in large swathes of the country.
“There has been no evidence of widespread transmission of the Coronavirus in pubs, as the Test and Trace system has evidenced. As Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, recently said:
“The data we have shows that the infection rate has risen, mainly due to social interactions, particularly private household gatherings. In shops and hospitality venues there are strict measures in place to ensure they are COVID-safe, whereas it is much easier to inadvertently pass on the virus in someone’s house, where people are more relaxed and less vigilant”.
“Wetherspoon has produced a magazine, illustrating the errors of judgement made by the government and SAGE, which it hopes its customers and the public will read.”