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British pub chain vows to stay open amid coronavirus, but with social distance between drinkers

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CNBC
March 20, 2020

Major British pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon plans to stay open in defiance of government advice amid the coronavirus pandemic, but has vowed to implement social distancing between drinkers.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has advised the public to avoid pubs and restaurants, but the government has so far stopped short of an enforced lockdown. The country has now confirmed 2,716 cases of coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin told CNBC that the government’s guidance was “ambiguous” and likened the closure of pubs to the shutting down of Parliament.

“I don’t think pubs and restaurants should be shut down completely. I think there should be social distancing, people shouldn’t stand at the bar, and there are various measures you can put in place for safety, but I don’t think it is right to close them,” Martin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe,” adding that such a move would be “too disruptive.”

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This article was posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 at 7:01 am





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