The CEO of Greene King – one of the UK’s largest pub groups – has warned that a “false start” would be a disaster for the industry.
Nick Mackenzie, who runs the 3,000-strong chain, said the company is currently putting a reopening plan in place but it needs to be in line with government guidance.
Giving his response to yesterday evening’s lockdown update from Boris Johnson, Mr Mackenzie said: “We of course want to welcome back customers to our pubs as soon as we can, but the impact on our 38,000 people and our commitment to customer safety are our primary concerns.
“We are keen to avoid a false start and the support that the government has provided during the lockdown will also be needed during the recovery phase as maintaining social distancing will have a significant impact on pubs.”
Mr Mackenzie added: “We are working closely with our people and our tenants to put in place a reopening strategy that adheres closely to government guidance so that when we do open our doors again, it is with robust safety and hygiene measures in place for our team and customers.”