Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said the latest government restrictions have come as a hammer blow – especially given the safety measures that the company and pub sector in general has put in place since reopening.
“We made safety our priority when reopening and fewer than 1% of our 1,700 managed pubs have been contacted by NHS Test & Trace since reopening in July, which demonstrates pubs are not disproportionately spreading cases and our measures are working,” he said.
“Removing a key trading period and further damaging customer confidence looks set to cost us several million pounds per week on top of already reduced customer numbers in our pubs to maintain social distancing.
“Given these restrictions and likely timescales we need support from government to avoid further job losses in the hospitality sector in addition to the 135,000 so far.”
Mr Mackenzie, whose business runs 3,000 pubs in the UK, described the new restrictions – which will see pubs close at 10pm and table service made a legal requirement – as a “significant setback”.
He added: “Pubs are just starting to get back on their feet after lockdown. We urgently need the government to extend the furlough scheme for hospitality venues and confirm what additional support it will provide to protect jobs and the future of pubs.”