UK pub chain Greene King REFUSES to reopen any of its 1,700 boozers today over safety fears

UK PUB chain Greene King REFUSES to reopen any of its 1,700 boozers today over safety fears.

The brewing giant will instead conduct a phased reopening over the coming weeks.

Pubs opened up their doors bright and early today after months of lockdown – with the first orders being taken at 6am.

But Greene King locals up and down the country remain shut.

The first of its pubs will reopen from Monday July 6 – unlike its rival Wetherspoons which reopened 750 of its establishments at 8am today.

Relaunch dates for the remaining third have not yet been announced.

Greene King, which runs Hungry Horses, Chef and Brewers, Wacky Warehouses and other large brands, says it wants to ensure its restaurants have “safe socialising layouts”.

It said it would “not be viable” to open immediately – even with social distancing restrictions reduced to one metre.

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “We welcome the news that pubs, alongside other hospitality venues, can reopen from next month.

“Pubs play an important role at the very heart of their communities and have been sorely missed by customers as well as those who work in them.

“Following the government announcement on Tuesday and subsequent guidance we have now decided to reopen our managed pubs in a phased way commencing Monday 6 July

“Not all our pubs will be viable to open immediately, even with the reduction in social distancing guidance to one metre alongside additional measures, but we expect to open 1,294, over two-thirds of our managed estate in phase one.”

They added: “We are working on the re-opening date for the second phase and will confirm it as soon as we can.

“The safety of our team and customers is our top priority and we are confident the measures we are introducing outlined in our PUBSAFE promises will mean our pubs will operate safely for both customers and team members.”

Other pub bosses across the country are also keeping their doors closed on Super Saturday, despite getting the green light to reopen after three months.

Some landlords fear they cannot enforce social distancing rules and keep staff and punters safe.

Others are worried about mass gatherings and a potential second coronavirus peak.

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