Many lockdown rules appear to have had no basis in science, says Tim Martin of Wetherspoon
MANY of the lockdown rules imposed by the Government appear to have have had no basis in science, according to Tim Martin, the chairman of pub operator JD Wetherspoon.
For the 26 weeks ended 24 January 2021, Wetherspoons' revenue was £431.1m, compared with £933.0m in the same period the year before.
In a statement, Mr Martin said:: “Wetherspoon and its employees, along with the hospitality industry, have worked very hard to comply with ever-changing government guidelines.
"It is disappointing that so many regulations, implemented at tremendous cost to the nation, appear to have had no real basis in common sense or science - for example, curfews, “substantial meals” with drinks and masks for bathroom visits.
“The future of the industry, and of the UK economy, depends on a consistent set of sensible policies, and the ending of lockdowns and tier systems, which have created economic and social mayhem and colossal debts, with no apparent health benefits.”
In his statement to accompany the preliminary results, Mr Martin said: "When Wetherspoon published its annual results on 16 October 2020, we criticised the constant changes of direction by the government, following the first UK lockdown.
"The criticism fell on deaf ears- the Government instigated a second national lockdown in November, followed by a reopening in December under changing “tier” systems, which closed two thirds of our pubs by Christmas. After Christmas, a third lockdown was instigated.
"In recent weeks a beer-garden-only reopening has been decreed for April, followed by table-service- only for May, before a full reopening in June.
"The hospitality trade has made strenuous efforts to comply with capacity, social distancing and hygiene regulations, with great success - there have been very few outbreaks of the virus in pubs, as many commentators have noted.
"Wetherspoon recorded over 50 million customer visits to its pubs from reopening in July, to the year end, and there has been no evidence of even a single outbreak, as defined by the health authorities, during this time.
"The main problem is that the government and SAGE have been unscientific in their approach- ignoring evidence, such as the evidence above, which contradicts their “narrative”.
"Rather than embracing, debating and investigating anomalies and counterintuitive information, as real scientists do, they have, instead, tried to discredit dissenters, as Wetherspoon News has pointed out. These tactics can work in an election campaign, but risk disaster in the day-to-day management of problems.
"Examples of entirely unscientific initiatives include the introduction of a curfew, the requirement for a “substantial meal” with a drink and the wearing of face masks to visit the bathroom."