The tier system is “lockdown by stealth,” claims Wetherspoons’ boss for fear that four out of five pubs will have to close
The head of Wetherspoons has accused ministers of imposing a “stealth lockdown” on warnings that the tier system will close four out of five pubs.
The new rules – which are stricter than before – will go into effect on December 2nd, when the English ban ends.
But pub groups have warned that the restrictions will “cause carnage”. Wetherspoons’ founder Tim Martin said his company was forced to close 366 of its 879 pubs.
Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoons, said his company will be forced to close 366 of its 879 pubs when the tier system goes live
Martin, an outspoken critic of coronavirus curbs, said yesterday: “It is very disappointing that another set of regulations has been put in place that have effectively closed half of our pubs.
In reality, the government has expanded some form of clandestine lockdown across much of the country. “
Last month, Wetherpoons posted its first annual loss since 1984.
And Martin claimed there was “no evidence of widespread transmission of the virus in pubs”.
The latest edition of the pub business’s in-house magazine Wetherspoons News accuses politicians of becoming “students of failed forecasters” and scientists of “fueling project anxiety.”
Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, has been criticized for telling MPs that a “significant proportion” of exposure to the virus has been in restaurants – based on data from just 98 pubs and 67 cafes and restaurants.
However, the British Beer and Pub Association says the new Level 2 and 3 restrictions, which go into effect Wednesday, will make 30,000 pubs “unprofitable”.
The organization said this includes 16,454 in tier three regions, which of course must remain closed.
Emma McClarkin, executive director of the British Beer and Pub Association, said, “We cannot exaggerate how serious the situation is.”