“Lockdown by stealth”: JD Wetherspoon boss warns of Plan B impact

Lockdown by stealth JD Wetherspoon boss warns
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JD Wetherspoon chair Tim Martin has claimed the country is “heading towards a lockdown by stealth” during a recent earnings forecast, warning H121 will be “loss-making or marginally profitable.”


JD Wetherspoon chair Tim Martin has accused the government of introducing “lockdown by stealth” through Plan B measures introduced in response to the Omicron variant.

The outspoken pub operator warned the new mask requirements and vaccine passports would affect both “customer sentiment and trade,” making H121 predictions “hazardous.”

“As previously reported, there have been no outbreaks, as defined by the health authorities, of Covid- 19 among customers in JDW pubs,” said Martin. “The typical British pub, contrary to received opinion in academia, is usually a bastion of social distancing.”

“In spite of reports of labour shortages and supply difficulties, JDW pubs, with few exceptions, are fully stocked and fully staffed. However, the repeated warnings and calls for restrictions, mainly from SAGE members and academics, combined with arbitrary changes of direction from the Government, invariably at short notice, affect customer sentiment and trade.”

Speaking during the pubco’s latest earnings forecast, Martin warned the next six months “may be loss-making or marginally profitable”, stating it is his belief that the country “appears to be heading towards a lockdown by stealth.”

“It is especially perplexing Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, who discovered the Omicron variant, has said ‘Nothing I have seen about this new variant warrants the extreme action the UK Government has taken in response to it’.”

Though Coetzee noted the government “cannot afford to be complacent” in a recent interview with the Daily Mail, the Pretoria-based GP stated a hard lockdown in the New Year could potentially do “far more harm than good.”

Responding to the claims, Martin added “for reasons best known to themselves, perhaps in order to encourage more vaccinations, the UK Government and its advisers are creating an entirely different and more frightening impression of the variant, which appears to be at odds with the South African experience.”

“In spite of these problems, booster vaccinations and better weather in the spring are likely to have a positive impact in the coming months. The company will continue to concentrate on providing high standards of service, reasonable prices and regular, small upgrades to the business.”

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