Wetherspoon: Pub chain reveal plans for reopening Scottish bars after lockdown

One of the UK’s biggest pub chains, JD Wetherspoon, has drawn up plans to safely reopen its pubs in Scotland.

The popular chain - which has pubs all over the country - will open when it has the official go-ahead from the Scottish Government.

Pubs were forced to close on March 20, four days before the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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Wetherspoon has now announced it is investing £11million into new measures to reopen all 875 of its UK pubs - including glass screens, entry and exit signs and thousands of hand sanitisers in a bid to ensure social distancing.

JD Wetherspoon has announced its plans to reopen after lockdown.JD Wetherspoon has announced its plans to reopen after lockdown.
JD Wetherspoon has announced its plans to reopen after lockdown.

The plans come after the chain was widely condemned for the treatment of its 43,000 staff as the lockdown started, with company boss Tim Martin reportedly advising his workers to seek employment in supermarkets before the UK Government stepped in with its furlough scheme.

The new measures will result in the employment of two full time staff per pub, slightly more for bigger pubs, who will regularly clean surfaces and touch points throughout the pubs.

It has undertaken extensive employee consultation and has also consulted with many of its suppliers and contractors, as well as referring to UK Hospitality guidelines.

The company said each of its locations would have an average of ten hand sanitisers and one full-time member of staff devoted to regularly cleaning surfaces and touch points.

Safety measures will be put in place at Wetherspoon pubs across the country.Safety measures will be put in place at Wetherspoon pubs across the country.
Safety measures will be put in place at Wetherspoon pubs across the country.

It will provide gloves, masks and protective eyewear to employees if they choose to use it along with glass screens in some areas and around cash-points and staff will hand over all drinks holding the base of the glass.

Customers will be encouraged to pay by app or contactless, but pubs will still accept cash payments, it said.

They will be open their usual opening hours, which on average is 8am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 8am to 1am (Friday and Saturday).

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All staff will receive a full briefing and training on the new way of running the pubs.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: "At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs.

"However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.

“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.

“We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff.”

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