Wetherspoon’s plans reopening of pubs ‘in or around June’

Pubs and restaurants were told to shut by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 20.

Wetherspoon’s is starting to plan for a reopening of its pubs and hotels “in or around June”, the company has announced.

Pubs and restaurants were told to shut by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of measures to try to slow the spread of coronavirus on March 20.

And now the chain has revealed plans are being put in place for a return in the summer.

The business said: “The company is likely to make some changes to its operating model, assuming increased social distancing, and anticipates a gradual recovery in customer numbers.

“Wetherspoon pubs are substantially larger than average, and most have outside facilities. The company believes these factors are likely to assist if social distancing measures apply.”

Owner Tim Martin revealed the Government’s business rates holiday has saved his firm around £60m.

He previously came under fire for failing to assure his staff their wages would be paid while they were unable to go into work.

In a video in March, he told tens of thousands of employees he would pay them up until the pubs last opened, but said there would be no further payments until the Government fulfilled its promise to cover 80% of the wages of workers affected.

Instead, he suggested that staff should consider taking jobs at Tesco to make up for the loss in pay.

Following the Government’s pledge to guarantee 80% of pay for many workers, Wetherspoons announced it would pay its staff under the scheme and stated that the company’s actions were “responsible and sensible in the difficult circumstances”.