Greene King CEO says COVID-19 Winter Plan unfairly singles out pubs

Nick Mackenzie, Greene King chief executive, has responded to Boris Johnson’s statement on the COVID-19 Winter Plan today.

Mackenzie (pictured) said, “Yet again, the UK pubs sector must pick itself up off the floor after another crushing blow. We’ve invested millions of pounds to make our pubs safe throughout this pandemic, but today it feels like pubs have been unfairly singled out once again with increased restrictions that will make pubs across the country unviable through the most important month of the year.

“Pubs play a key role in combatting loneliness and isolation and we have followed all the government’s requirements to ensure our pubs are well-regulated and Covid-secure environments for friends and families to stay connected as we approach Christmas.

“Safety is paramount but restrictions must be proportionate and not put hundreds of thousands of people’s jobs at risk across the hospitality industry.'

Mackenzie added, “We welcome the news about the curfew but it has limited benefit when pubs are closed in Tier 3 and unable to serve alcohol unless it’s with food in Tier 2.

'We ask the government to reconsider disproportionate measures, such as banning the sale of alcohol in Tier 2 unless it’s with a substantial meal, and work constructively with the hospitality sector to find solutions that not only protect lives but also protect livelihoods through to next spring.”