Wetherspoons Confirms 66 Workers Have Contracted Covid-19 With 50 Pubs Affected
Wetherspoons has revealed that 66 members of its staff have tested positive for Covid-19 since pubs reopened.
In a statement on the chain's website, it confirmed that out of 41,564 employees, 66 had contracted coronavirus across 50 different pubs.
The chain explained most of the cases had been either mild or asymptomatic - and that 28 of the 66 had already returned to work following self isolation. It added that 811 of its establishments remain free of Covid-19.
In the statement, founder and chairman of Wetherspoon pubs Tim Martin dismissed claims that pubs are a dangerous place to be amidst the ongoing pandemic.
"The situation with regard to pubs has been widely misunderstood," he said. "In fact, trade was very quiet over the weekend, as the public weighed up the evidence about the alleged dangers of going out - Wetherspoon sales were 22.5 per cent below the equivalent Saturday last year.
"It is clearly not the case that pubs are 'dangerous places to be'. Wetherspoon has invested around £15 million on comprehensive social distancing and hygiene measures. These include reducing capacity, spacing out tables, the installation of screens between tables and around tills, and an average of ten hand sanitisers per pub."
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He also added: "If pubs are closed, or restricted so much that they become unprofitable, a great deal of the strenuous effort of the hospitality industry's 3.2 million employees, currently engaged on upholding hygiene and social distancing standards, will be lost - leaving the public to socialise at home or elsewhere, in unsupervised circumstances."
As of today, the government is asking those in England to abide by the 'rule of six' - meaning only six people can meet up indoors and outdoors from today (aside from covid-secure weddings, funerals and sporting events where numbers are limited to 30 people).
The new rule does not apply to support bubbles or households.
Failure to comply with the new regulations means you could be handed a £100 fine which is then doubled for any follow up offences, to a maximum fine of £3,200.
Featured Image Credit: PA