Wetherspoons launches firesale with 99p real ales for all areas slammed into Tier 3 this week

WETHERSPOONS has tonight launched a 99p real ale firesale for pubs in areas being slammed into Tier 3 this week.

The pub chain is selling pints for less than a pound in London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire from now until 10pm tomorrow.

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Spoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "We would have to throw any unsold real ale away in those pubs moving to Tier 3.

"It makes sense that our customers can enjoy it at even greater value prices than normal in those pubs that will be affected."

Under the tier, shops and gyms can remain open, but all hospitality venues – including restaurants, pubs and bars – must shut.

However, they are permitted to offer takeaway and delivery services, as well as click and collect and drive-thru business.

Other restrictions under Tier 3 include a ban on household mixing indoors and in private gardens.

But groups of up to six can meet outside in public parks – and theatres, cinemas, bowling alleys, casinos and nightclubs must also close.  

Spoons boss Tim Martin has previously been critical of pubs closing, and has warned that the industry could be wiped out – with a million jobs on the line.

On Monday, he told talkRadio the decision to shut Tier 3 venues amounted to a "lockdown by any other name".

He said: "It's very sad.

"I think it's possibly over 650,000 people in pubs and the hospitality industry alone out of work.

"That's probably the working population of say Liverpool and Manchester, the equivalent, and for no health benefit – not that I can see."

The British Beer & Pub Association said 56,000 jobs in the sector are now at risk in London alone, with all of the capital's 3,680 pubs forced to shut except for takeaways.

Just weeks ago, Spoons prompted outrage when it was revealed some pubs would cap the number of pints available to customers.

The 'three-pint' rule came into force in some areas on the day gleeful Brits headed back to the bar after England's second national lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed news on new restrictions for millions tonight – and said a new strain of coronavirus which may spread even quicker has been found in many areas of England.

Mr Hancock told MPs that a new "variant" has been discovered in up to 60 places across the UK – and the World Health Organisation has been informed.

The strain has been found in Tier 3 Kent, as well as in parts of London.

Swale and Medway in Kent are now the country's hardest-hit regions, with more than 600 cases per 100,000 people.

The Government considers quarantine measures for travellers arriving in the UK when cases rise above 20 per 100,000 people.

Basildon in Essex is in third place. The rate in the town has risen sharply from 372.9 to 613.8 per 100,000 within just a week, with 1,149 new cases.

Havering is London's worst-hit borough, coming in fifth place with a rate of 506.3.

Just weeks ago, no area of the capital was in the top 50.

However, Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Bexley, Merton, Bromley, Kingston upon Thames, Greenwich and Haringey are now areas where coronavirus is spiking.

Meanwhile, schools in Greenwich and Islington have shut – with the 11th-hour decision sparking headaches for parents across the city.

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