Wetherspoons (JDW.L) is selling real ales for 99p ($1.30) a pint at all its pubs in England right up until the lockdown is meant to take effect, in a bid to prevent the alcohol from going to waste.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said in an emailed statement: “The reality is that any real ales not sold between now and lockdown will have to be thrown away, so it is better that customers can enjoy it at a great price while the pubs remain open.”
“Each and every one of our pubs has all Covid safety measures in place and the numbers of people allowed in our pubs is restricted, so the lower price for real ales will have no effect on the safety of customers and staff,” he added.
The offer began Sunday afternoon and will end 4 November at 10pm when all pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops shut for a month as per the rules of the new lockdown.
Wetherspoons had previously reduced the prices of its real ale when the first lockdown lifted, and had cut prices on a range of meals and drinks, every Monday to Wednesday. The offer was meant to last until 11 November.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson said last week that England will be going into another lockdown — non-essential shops and hospitality will have to close, and travel will be under new restrictions, from Thursday 5 November until 2 December. Schools and colleges will be allowed to stay open.
Meanwhile, pub owners and campaigners have urged the government to reverse the “baffling” and “nonsensical” decision to restrict the sale of takeaway alcohol during the second lockdown.
Official guidelines state that although restaurants, bars and pubs must close from Thursday, food takeaway and delivery services are still permitted – but serving alcohol to take away is not.
Industry bosses have warned that the expected ban will result in “thousands of gallons of beer (being) poured down drains” and said that guidance that is not “evidence-based” should be challenged.
Over the weekend, the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK since the pandemic began went over one million, and the government announced that England will be placed under a one-month lockdown, ending on 2 December, to curtail a second wave of COVID-19.