Wetherspoons defends 'unbelievable' coronavirus posters
- Credit: Archant
A Wetherspoon's pub has defended a controversial poster displayed in its windows.
The Joseph Conrad pub, in Lowestoft, is one of a number of Wetherspoon pubs to display the company posters, which question national lockdowns, and claims facts and statistics "can be twisted to strike fear in our hearts."
Wetherspoons spokesman Eddie Gershon said the posters offer "differing views".
He said: "The company is fully aware of the Covid-19 situation and has taken every action to ensure that customers and staff are safe in its pubs.
"The posters in the pub window highlight a number of articles which point to differing views of the situation.
"They do not underestimate the seriousness of Covid-19.
"The articles give a different viewpoint to the way the government has handled the situation."
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One Lowestoft resident criticised the posters at a time when cases were rising in the district.
While East Suffolk has the lowest rate of infection in the county, latest figures show cases have soared from 88.6 per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 12, to 155.5 cases in the seven days to December 19, while 159 patients have died at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after testing positive for coronavirus.
Both Suffolk and Norfolk will enter Tier 4 from Boxing Day, with non-essential businesses, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, forced to close their doors.
The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"There's all this talk about a new variant and rising cases and new tiers, and they go and down play everything the official advice is saying.
"They're just doing anything they can to get people to drink in their pub."
The articles also feature in the company's magazine 'Wetherspoons News'.
On the company's website, Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin states: "The articles detail how the government is messing up the economy and also the health of the nation.
"More than 800,000 jobs have been lost so far, many in hospitality, so it's vital for political folly to be highlighted."