Wetherspoons to scrap ‘absurd’ face mask rule from tomorrow

Freedom Day: GB News hosts outline new rules

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Pub group JD Wetherspoon has announced it will relax the face mask and table service policy from tomorrow, July 19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this week that England’s “Freedom Day” will go ahead as planned.

That means from tomorrow, July 19, it will be a “personal choice” to wear a face-covering or keep social distance and it will no longer be a legal requirement.

Although some supermarkets have said they will still require shoppers to wear a face mask when entering, pubs will no longer ask customers to do so.

Some of the new measures in pubs include:

People will be allowed to drink standing up and order at the bar again.

Wearing a face covering or social distance rules will not be enforced.

However, businesses can still opt to ask customers to wear a mask to walk around the venue.

Wetherspoons has said it will go back to the “successful measures” put in place last summer.

The pub chain said it will allow customers to order at the bar although it will encourage people to use the app to reduce unnecessary contact.

It also explained that face masks will no longer be enforced.

It explained customers “will be able to wear them at their discretion.”

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However, the pub giant will keep some of the current safety measures, such as screens between tables and hand sanitiser stations.

The limit of groups of six will no longer apply, and the test and trace system will be performed on a voluntary basis.

Wetherspoons’ founder, Tim Martin, said: “When pubs reopened after the first lockdown, in July last year, a sensible set of measures were agreed between the hospitality industry, the health authorities and other interested parties – and kept transmission in hospitality venues at low levels.

“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.”

He continued: “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.”

This comes after fears the coronavirus situation in the UK may get worse, particularly among young people, which is the pub’s main demographic.

The new rules will be applied to the more than 870 Wetherspoons pubs across the UK from tomorrow July, 19.

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