JD Wetherspoon has mentioned that 66 of its employees have examined constructive for the coronavirus however maintains that visiting pubs is protected.
The firm, which employs greater than 41,000 folks, mentioned the overwhelming majority of its pubs had recorded no constructive exams for the virus.
There had been a number of circumstances amongst employees at 50 of its pubs.
Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin dismissed claims by illness skilled Professor Hugh Pennington that pubs are “harmful”.
He mentioned: “The scenario with regard to pubs has been extensively misunderstood.”
Aberdeen University’s Prof Pennington mentioned final month that pubs are “far, much more harmful locations to be” when discussing sending kids again to high school through the pandemic.
Since reopening on 4 July, Wetherspoons mentioned some 32 million folks have visited its 861 open pubs.
Forty of its pubs have reported one employee testing constructive for the coronavirus and 6 have disclosed two.
In addition, two pubs reported three employees testing constructive and one other two mentioned 4 employees had.
Wetherspoons mentioned 28 of the affected workers had returned to work. A spokesman for the corporate mentioned the employees, in addition to those that labored in shut proximity to them, self-isolated for 14 days and have been paid in full.
The chain mentioned signing as much as the NHS track-and-trace system was obligatory in its premises.
Mr Martin mentioned there was no record of the pubs that had been affected. “Whenever there was a scenario we’ve handled the native press, public well being and the council,” he mentioned.
Rule of six
The firm mentioned it has invested £15m in hygiene and social distancing measures at its premises. Mr Martin argued that pubs and outlets have been safer than properties.
“It is far simpler to inadvertently cross on the virus in somebody’s home, the place persons are extra relaxed and fewer vigilant,” he mentioned.
From Monday, social gatherings of greater than six folks have been banned each indoors and outdoor in England and Scotland and indoors solely in Wales.
It follows an increase in new coronavirus circumstances, with an additional 3,330 constructive circumstances recorded within the UK on Sunday.
Mr Martin mentioned: “If pubs are closed, or restricted a lot that they grow to be unprofitable, an excessive amount of the strenuous effort of the hospitality business’s 3.2 million workers, at present engaged on upholding hygiene and social distancing requirements, will likely be misplaced.”