Wetherspoon Pub Chain Planning To Reopen 'In Late June', Lockdown Measures Permitting
JD Wetherspoon plans to reopen its pubs 'in late June', lockdown measures permitting.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told LADbible: "Wetherspoon has no hotline to the government as to when pubs might be permitted to reopen and we doubt if the government itself has yet made a decision on this.
"Like all companies we are trying to make a plan for the future and are guessing that they may be allowed to reopen in late June, around three months after they closed. However, that is just an estimate and may prove to be entirely incorrect.
"Wetherspoon, like all pub companies, closed its doors when ordered to do so by the government - and will only reopen when it is permitted to do so."
Earlier this month, Michael Gove said pubs would be among the last businesses to exit lockdown.
When he was asked on BBC's Andrew Marr Show whether we could see pubs reopening before the winter, Gove replied: "Areas of hospitality will be among the last to exit the lock down, yes that is true, they will be among the last."
He continued: "This virus has changed so much, it's a new virus of a great potency and lethality. It spreads remarkably fast, we want to ensure that we can get on top of it.
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"We also want to ensure the economic life of the nation, the social life of the nation can return over time but even as some restrictions are lifted the way in which our schools, the way in which our shops and factories operate will change as a result of what we know about this virus and what we know about social distancing.
"Of course, we want to make sure that the best scientific advice guides us as we take an approach towards easing these restrictions in the right way with appropriate safeguards."
Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin came under fire in March after he showed reluctance to pay his staff during lockdown until the company had received payments from the government, instead encouraging employees to seek work at supermarkets.
His stance prompted one branch in London to be spray-painted with the words 'pay your staff'.
The pubs were among the last to stay open before lockdown rules were introduced, shutting their doors on 20 March, with Martin stating that such measures 'won't save lives'.
He said: "My instinct is that closure won't save lives but will cost thousands of jobs and create unsustainable costs for the UK.
"As I understand it, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea's successful approach to the virus has not involved closure."
He went on to defend his public declarations of how best to tackle Covid-19.
He said: "Am I out of my depth? We're a democracy, aren't we? I'm obviously not an expert but I've got a view and that's all I can say. People can accept it or not. Even if you're not an epidemiologist you can look at what other countries do and weigh up what's happened.
"More people have caught the virus in one building, parliament, than in all our pubs combined."
Featured Image Credit: PA