Wetherspoons: Tim Martin warns of ‘survival mode’ for pub chain
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While pubs up and down the country have been closed throughout the third coronavirus lockdown in England, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed his roadmap out of lockdown for England in a press conference on February 22, with the hospitality sector set to reopen in open. Pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen again on April 12 at the earliest in England, with outdoor table service only permitted.
They will be allowed to reopen to indoor customers from May 17 at the earliest.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman confirmed that pubs would be allowed to serve drinks to punters outside last week.
Pubs have been closed since January 4 across England as another lockdown was put in place following the sharp rise in cases across the country.
The exit from lockdown will be unified across the country, unlike the tiered approach that was used prior to the lockdown coming into effect in early January.
When will Wetherspoons reopen?
The pub chain has announced it intends to reopen 394 England branches on April 12, in line with the roadmap.
Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our customers and staff back to our pubs.”
Wetherspoons will be open to the public from 9am to 9pm everyday, with Fridays and Saturdays keeping doors open until 10pm.
Food will be served until 8pm across all days of the week, but will be offering a reduced menu.
Customers will be able to order and pay through the Wetherspoon app, and staff will be able to take orders and payment at the table.
This time around there will be no requirement for a substantial meal to be eaten with your drink.
The chain did not specify which particular pubs will be reopening yet – across all of the UK, there are 875 Wetherspoons branches.
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The reopening of the hospitality sector is widely anticipated, with punters across the country looking forward to being able to enjoy pubs and restaurants as the warmer weather comes in.
The British Beer & Pub Association warned only last week how nearly 30,000 pubs could be forced to keep their doors closed until the planned full reopening in May.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We’d hoped our pubs would open – indoors and out – for Easter and alongside essential retail.
“Instead, they are going to remain closed for far longer.
“This will mean they miss out on vital trade and communities will miss out on seeing each other, safely, in their local this Easter.
“Given the cautious approach the Government has decided to take in reopening our pubs, they must now support them and, in the words of the Prime Minister himself, not pull the rug out from underneath.”
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