Pub and brewery group Marstons which operates 21 sites in Scotland, eight of which are currently closed, is cutting 2,150 furloughed pub-based jobs following new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The company said that since 4 July it had reopened 99% of its pubs and “consumer confidence increased steadily throughout July, August and into September” and that since the first lockdown was lifted, 10,000 of its employees had returned to work, but with new measures like the 10pm curfew, table-only service and local lockdowns have all undermined customer confidence, meaning that jobs will now be impacted.
The company said in a statement, “Throughout the pandemic we have offered continuous help to those tenants and lessees impacted by trading restrictions in the form of rental support and discounting, and we anticipate a continuation of this support in those pubs directly impacted.
“The initial effect of these new rules has been to undermine consumer confidence and create uncertainty. Restoring confidence will only happen when UK government and the devolved administrations are able to remove these restrictive measures, which they state are intended to be short term in nature.
“The introduction of these further restrictions and guidance affecting pubs is hugely disappointing in view of a lack of clear evidence tying pubs to the recent increase in infection levels, and our own data which suggests that pubs are effective in minimising risks.
“Very few incidences of covid-19 infection have been reported in our pubs by employees or guests to date, supporting our view that socialising in pubs, where social distancing is enforced and hygiene standards are high, presents lower risks than in other non-regulated settings.”