Marston's pub chain boss will refuse to make staff wear face masks as boozers would 'feel like a hospital'

THE Marston's pub chain boss will refuse to make staff wear masks because it would "feel like a hospital".

Ralph Findlay has also said he will not force boozers to wear masks or hand over their contact details.

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Marston’s will re-open 90 per cent of its 1,400 sites from next Saturday – and others in Wales and Scotland will follow once their lockdown restrictions are eased.

The chain will buy personal protective equipment for employees who want it, but it won't be mandatory.

The Wolverhampton-based group, which owns the Pitcher & Piano and Revere chains, said it would also leave pens and paper for customers to fill out their details if they wanted to.

This voluntary information will be the only data collected from the chain that will be available to help the Government's track and trace efforts.

Mr Findlay told The Daily Mail it is important to make pubs an enjoyable place to visit, adding: "It’s important to me for pubs to look like pubs and not like hospitals because if they do, people won’t want to come here."

The 59-year-old said guidelines such as PPE and contact details were "requests" and not iron-clad rules.

He added there is a "degree of grey area and flexibility of guidance that is very helpful" to allow pub owners to choose what they want to enforce.


It comes after the British Beer and Pub Association highlighted privacy concerns about the collection and keeping of personal customer data.

A spokesman said: "We do have significant concerns over the collection and storage of personal customer data when visiting the pub.

"We welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to work with the sector to make this manageable as it poses significant logistical challenges."

Pubs landlords rejoiced when the two-metre social distancing rule was reduced but has left some confused as some are set to implement strict measures and others not at all.

Martson's rival Wetherspoons has splashed out £11million on PPE and other measures such as hand sanitiser stations and social distancing signs.

They will also not force staff to wear the PPE but have set up screens at the bar and in between tables that are less than two metres apart.

Mr Findlay has estimated Marston’s sites will need takings to be at around 50 to 60 per cent of pre-lockdown levels in to break even.

He’s said lockdown wiped £40m off sales in March.

Mr Findlay has also urged ministers to lower VAT from 20 per cent to 5 per cent in hospitality to encourage Brits to spend money.

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