Further COVID-19 Update announcement - Replacement

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 5718F
Wetherspoon (JD) PLC
16 July 2021

16 July 2021



Further COVID-19 Update announcement


The Government has said that most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 will be lifted on 19 July 2021.


Since uncertainty remains as to the future impact of COVID-19, Wetherspoon has decided to revert to the successful measures which were agreed between local authorities, health authorities, licensing authorities and other parties, when pubs reopened in England, after the first lockdown, in July 2020.


The company will therefore:


•      retain floor screens between tables in pubs and till-surround screens on bar serveries.

•      retain hand sanitizers at the entrance and at various locations around the customer area of the pub, as well as in staff areas.

•      maintain increased cleaning of contact points.

•      maintain directional signage for entrances and exits etc.

•      continue to encourage pubs to increase natural ventilation by keeping doors and windows open as much as possible.

•      continue to complete a short questionnaire for each employee before the start of a shift to check temperature and for symptoms.

•      encourage customers to use the order and pay apps to reduce contact at the bar, although, they will be able to order at the bar.

•      maintain internal capacity in pubs at the same levels as today, limiting the numbers of customers to the number of seats.

•      maintain current reduced capacity limits for employees in staff rooms and "back-of-house" areas.

•      continue to use "single-use" mustard, ketchup etc. sachets instead of larger containers.

•      continue to use disposable food menus.

•      continue to prop open internal doors, including main doors to lavatories, where possible, to minimise contact points.


Modifications to current restrictions


The following restrictions will be modified:


•      face masks, will be made available for employees, and customers and employees will be able to wear them at their discretion.

•      group sizes will not be limited to six, as currently applies.

•      the NHS Test & Trace system, or paper forms, will be retained for customers who wish to record visits, on a voluntary basis.


Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said:


"When pubs reopened after the first lockdown, in July last year, a sensible set of measures, as outlined above, was agreed between the hospitality industry, the health authorities and other interested parties, which kept transmission in hospitality venues at low levels.


"Wetherspoon had over 50 million customer visits, recorded through the Test and Trace system, in the second half of 2020 without a single reported example of an "outbreak" among customers, as defined by the health authorities.


"As UK Hospitality, the British institute of Innkeepers and the British Beer and Pub Association said in October last year, "of 22,500 …. hospitality venues surveyed, just 1% said they were linked by NHS test and trace to an incident".


"While risks from COVID-19 cannot be eliminated completely, we believe that the July 2020 guidelines are a sensible backstop for the industry and strike a fair balance between health, employment and the economy.


"It is hoped that arbitrary and capricious government rules, which have been a regular feature in recent months, such as the requirement for substantial meals, curfews and table service, which have no scientific provenance, can be avoided in future.  These sorts of rules damage the economy, are extraordinarily difficult for pub staff to implement and are invariably regarded by customers as absurd."






John Hutson                 Chief Executive Officer              07970 477377

Ben Whitley                   Finance Director                        07970 477428

Eddie Gershon              Company Spokesman               07956 392234


Please send any questions by email to investorqueries@jdwetherspoon.co.uk 


Notes to editors

1.     J D Wetherspoon owns and operates pubs throughout the UK. The company aims to provide customers with good-quality food and drink, served by well-trained and friendly staff, at reasonable prices. The pubs are individually designed, and the company aims to maintain them in excellent condition.


2.     Visit our website: www.jdwetherspoon.com      


3.     This announcement has been prepared solely to provide additional information to the shareholders of J D Wetherspoon, to meet the requirements of the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. It should not be relied on by any other party, for any other purposes. Forward-looking statements have been made by the directors in good faith, using information available up until the date on which they approved this statement. Forward-looking statements should be regarded with caution, because of the inherent uncertainties in economic trends and business risks.


4.     The current financial year comprises 52 trading weeks to 25 July 2021.



This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

RNS may use your IP address to confirm compliance with the terms and conditions, to analyse how you engage with the information contained in this communication, and to share such analysis on an anonymised basis with others as part of our commercial services. For further information about how RNS and the London Stock Exchange use the personal data you provide us, please see our Privacy Policy.