Peter Borg-Neal, CEO and founder of Oakman Inns said on Twitter: “So @OakmanInns will be opening all sites on the 4th July. It would irresponsible for us to delay as we would be putting jobs at risk. To open without proper forward planning would also be wrong. We cannot wait for the Government to make a decision.”
He then tweeted to say: “I am now getting numerous messages of support from other Publicans vowing to open on the 4th. Can you help us get the message over to Government? Would be much appreciated.”
It was not made clear which other publicans had offered support, but chain Wetherspoons has released guidelines it intends to follow including having its staff wear googles and masks.
In a release posted on Oakman Inns website, the company said it will open all of its 28 pubs on July 4.
The chain has “challenged the Prime Minister to tell them otherwise”.
Some 90% of its 1,000 employees have been on furlough since pubs were told to lock their doors in March.
Now Oakman’s Chief Operating Officer Dermot King has said the chain is preparing to serve drinks and food on premises again.
“We will be opening on July 4, despite the lack of clarity given to the hospitality sector by the Government,” he said.
“We cannot wait any longer and won’t change our plans unless the Prime Minister intervenes.
He also called on Number 10 to accelerate the release of their review into the possibility of reducing the guidance for social distancing.
Frustration is mounting among the hospitality industry, which is among the hardest hit by coronavirus lockdowns.
“Everyone is looking forward to the day when some sort of normality returns to the country, but if the Government doesn’t act fast then we won’t be toasting that moment in pubs and bars because most of them will have had to shut down,” concluded Mr King.
This week, the British Beer and Pub association also called for government intervention to save the industry.
A note on their website read: “Despite initial government relief, pubs urgently need liquidity measures in order to pay wages and prevent thousands of pubs from closing, with the subsequent loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.”