Chief executive of Greene King, headquartered in Bury St Edmunds, says it's 'critical' pubs can open without restrictions from June 21 following foreign secretary Dominic Raab's comments on The Andrew Marr Show
The chief executive of Greene King, headquartered in Bury St Edmunds, has said it is 'critical' pubs reopen without any restrictions from next month following comments from the foreign secretary some Covid-19 safeguards will remain in place beyond June 21.
Nick Mackenzie said despite pubs reopening last month, the company was still trading at 'significantly reduced capacity' and was losing money.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said on Sunday some Covid-19 safeguards will have to stay in place beyond June, when the roadmap out of lockdown is due to end.
Mr Raab made the comments on the The Andrew Marr Show and said whilst no decisions had been made, it could involve the use of social distancing or masks.
Howevever, Mr Mackenzie said it was critical the Government's roadmap did not slip after a challenging period for the company.
"This period has been incredibly challenging for us, as it has been for the entire hospitality industry," he said.
"Our revenue and profit numbers reflect significant periods of time where we were unable to trade at all and others where trade was severely restricted.
"While we’ve had some good weather since a third of our pub gardens opened earlier this month, we’re trading at significantly reduced capacity and still losing money.
"It’s critical that the government’s roadmap does not slip so we can focus firmly on the future as we prepare to open our doors again without restrictions from 21 June.
Greene King is England's leading pub retailer and brewer, with 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK.
Mr Mackenzie added: "The second half of this year will be pivotal for us in terms of rebuilding the business, investing in our people and ultimately helping to kickstart the UK economy.
“I’d like to thank our team members for their incredible resilience through long periods of lockdown and the amazing job they’re doing as we reopen our pubs.”