Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin is calling for the pubs to re-open at the same time as non essential shops. 

We’re all missing the pub, and many are keen for them to re-open again. 

This weekend it was reported that if coronavirus cases continue to decline, pubs and restaurants may be able to open outdoor areas for customers in April. 

Now that would be nice. 

A source told The Sun: “We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later.”

This comes after the announcement that the UK’s R rate has fallen below one for the first time since July.

The R Rate is the rate at which the virus reproduces, so the lower it is, the better (obviously). 

A government minister told The Sun that “It is all going well.”

“The rates are coming down, the numbers are looking good. We are on course for the roadmap.

“Outdoor ventilation is key. There are new mutations of the virus, but nothing changes how it spreads.”

 However, it is unclear exactly when or how these venues will be able to reopen. 

Mr Martin, the boss of the huge chain of pubs Wethersspoon, is calling for pubs to open soon – at the same time as non-essential shops. 

He says that pubs have contributed massively to the economy in recent years. Mr Martin also highlights how useful pubs have been in generating tax:

‘In the last 10 years Wetherspoon has generated £6.1 billion of taxes, something we are very proud of,’

‘In the financial year to July 2019, before the pandemic, Wetherspoon, its customers and employees generated £764 million of taxes – £1 in every thousand collected by the UK Government. 

‘Many people have correctly pointed out that the three lockdowns of the last year have been a disaster for the hospitality, retail, arts and entertainment industries, but our calculations show that they have been an even bigger disaster for public finances. 

‘The taxes paid by Wetherspoon are mirrored by thousands of companies which have been annihilated by lockdowns. ‘As a result, Government finances have been annihilated even more.’

The Safety Of Pubs

Mr Martin has also pointed out that there hasn’t been a ‘single outbreak’ of covid in any of his pubs since the begining of the pandemic. 

There are roughly 875 Wetherspoon pubs, and over 50million customers have been inside a Wetherspsoon since the pandemic began. 

The Wetherspoon boss has claimed that hospitality venues have provided information to the government, and it is information that ‘clearly demonstrates’ how covid-secure pubs and restaurants are.

He said: ‘The Government knows this is correct, since it has access to Test and Trace information,’ 

‘Yet the Government has ignored this information and has even banned golf – the ultimate social distancing sport.’

‘Surely it is possible for the hospitality industry to reopen at the same time as non-essential shops, now that a vaccine exists, on the basis of the social distancing and hygiene regulations,’ Mr Martin added.

 ‘Unless the industry does reopen on that basis, economic mayhem will inevitably follow.’

Image via Alamy