Coronavirus UK: Wetherspoons reveals plan to reopen 875 pubs


Graffiti on JD Wetherspoon pub in Crystal Palace, south London, after boss TIme Martin says unemployed workers should find jobs at Tesco (Photo: PA)

Wetherspoons has unveiled a £ 11 million master plan to reopen its 875 pubs safely when more foreclosure restrictions are lifted.

As part of the “new standard”, drinkers should disinfect their hands upon arrival and follow one-way systems through the bar where the crates will be filtered to protect staff, who will receive PPE including masks, gloves and eye protection.

The pub chain, chaired by millionaire Tim Martin, will encourage customers to order from an app or contactless card, but won’t ban cash. Drinkers will be encouraged to sit outside in the pub gardens, while the tables inside will be surrounded by screens to ensure social distancing.

The chain’s food menu will be reduced and the condiment bottles will be removed and replaced with sachets.

Each pub will have at least ten hand sanitizer dispensers and at least two full-time employees who will regularly clean surfaces and contact points.

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Wetherspoons has revealed its reopening rules when the lock is lifted
(Photo: Twitter / mimibrockstark)
Each pub will have at least ten hand sanitizer dispensers (Photo: Twitter / mimibrockstark)

Each employee will be required to complete and sign a daily health assessment questionnaire to confirm that they are fit for work, which will include taking their temperature using a digital thermometer.

The pubs had to close on March 20, three days before the country was officially ordered closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Wetherspoons said the investment of £ 11 million means the company will be ready to reopen as soon as the government gives it the green light. This should not happen before July at the earliest.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said, “The government has not yet confirmed any dates to reopen pubs.

There will be protective glass screens at checkout
to protect staff and customers (Photo: Twitter / mimibrockstark)

“However, it is important that we are ready for any announcement.

“We spent a number of weeks consulting with the staff who work in our pubs, as well as the area managers, to develop our plans.

“We have received over 2,500 suggestions from our staff.

“The safety of our staff and our customers is paramount. “

While this may be good news for some, many have promised to boycott the chain over its personnel management at the onset of the crisis.

Tim Martin was criticized in March for telling his employees that they would not be paid after the pubs closed, suggesting that they would rather get a job at Tesco. He also told the channel’s suppliers that they would not be paid until the huge pub domain was allowed to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown ended.

He was forced to turn around following violent reactions, confirming that staff would be paid under the taxpayer-funded coronavirus retention program.

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