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29th Apr 2020

Wetherspoons is planning to reopen pubs ‘in or around June’

Josh Kaplan

The chain has been closed for over a month

Wetherspoons pubs have been closed since March 20 when the government announced that all restaurants and bars were to close from midnight.

The chain’s 879 pubs have now been shut for 40 days but the reopening will depend on if and when government restrictions are lifted on non-essential businesses.

But Wetherspoons have claimed they have started to plan for a reopening of their pubs and hotels “in or around June”.

Founder Tim Martin initially resisted calls to pay his employees their full salary while closed, telling them to go and find jobs in supermarkets until Wetherspoons could hire them back, leading to a petition that received over 30,000 signatures.

He later made an embarrassing U-turn and agreed to furlough staff on 80% pay.

While Wetherspoons is planning to re-open, reports have suggested that pubs will be the last businesses allowed to re-open and patrons could be limited to ‘two or three’ drinks.

Eyal Winter, a government advisor on lockdown exit plans has told the Guardian that any businesses re-opening would need to abide by strict social distancing measures in a post-lockdown world.

The economist also said that those in government are worried that pubs and bars will be overrun after lockdown is lifted. He told the paper: “People are starving for pubs.”