Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid-19 spike

Fears overcrowding in Wetherspoon pubs may lead to Covid-19 spike

  • Customers in a pub run by chain also not asked for personal details for track and trace system

Fears that relaxed summer socialising will lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases around the UK have been heightened after concerns that JD Wetherspoon is failing to prevent overcrowding in pubs in its 900-strong chain.

Concerns about poor social distancing by customers in Wetherspoon pubs followed a surge in visitors during recent hot weather and after the publication of A-level results last Thursday. Customers in a south London pub run by the company said they had not been asked to provide personal details, including mobile phone numbers that can be used in the government’s track and trace system.

The Guardian found that in one of south London’s most popular pubs with young people, customers were allowed to buy drinks directly from the bar and stood within 1 metre of others without any intervention by the staff.

One customer described the pub as “rammed” and staff were unable to cope with the demand for drinks and food.

Young people often gather in Wetherspoonpubs due to their low prices, attracted by large discounts on alcoholic drinks and food prices compared with rival chains. Due to current restrictions on larger venues, some of the pubs are likely among the largest social gatherings in the UK.