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Wetherspoon will open beer gardens at half its pubs when lockdown lifts on April 12

Wetherspoon will open beer gardens at half of its pubs when lockdown restrictions lift next month.

Pint-starved punters are set to flock back to boozers when landlords are allowed to turn the taps back on on April 12.

Ramsgate's Royal Victoria Pavilion
Ramsgate's Royal Victoria Pavilion

In Kent 19 of 32 pubs will reopen.

They are:

  • Humphrey Bean, Tonbridge
  • Leading Light, Faversham
  • County Hotel, Ashford
  • Society Rooms, Maidstone
  • Golden Lion, Rochester
  • Saxon Shore, Herne Bay
  • Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate
  • Peter Cushing, Whitstable
  • Sir Norman Wisdom, Deal
  • Thomas Waghorn, Chatham
  • Belle and Lion, Sheerness
  • Golden Hope, Sittingbourne
  • Harvest Moon, Orpington
  • Sovereign of the Seas, Petts Wood
  • Richmal Crompton, Bromley
  • Furze Wren, Bexleyheath
  • Flying Boat, Dartford
  • Greyhound, Bromley
  • The Newcross Turnpike, Welling

Due to not having the facilities Muggleton Inn, Maidstone; Opera House, Tunbridge Wells; Sennockian, Sevenoaks; Samuel Peto, Folkestone; Thomas Ingoldsby, Canterbury; Eight Bells, Dover ; West Gate Inn, Canterbury; Mechanical Elephant, Margate; Railway, Rainham; Bankers Draft, Eltham; Wrong 'Un, Bexleyheath; Robert Pocock, Gravesend; and Tailor's Chalk, Sidcup will not reopen on April 12.

Across England grass areas, rooftop gardens and patios at 394 of the UK's biggest operator's branches will open their doors.

They will be open from 9am to 9pm from Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, although some will have restrictions on closing times.

Under new rules the previous curfews and requirement to buy a "substantial meal" with drink will be lifted.

Wetherspoon will offer a slightly reduced menu, with food available from 9am to 8pm seven days a week.

Customers will be able to order and pay through the company's app, and staff will be able to take orders and payment at tables.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin

The pubs will not be operating a booking system.

Customers will be able to enter the pubs to gain access to the outside areas and use toilets, while test and trace will be in operation and hand sanitisers will be available.

Chief executive John Hutson said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our customers and staff back to our pubs.”

Wetherspoon has 875 pubs in the UK, including 750 in England.

In Kent there are 31, including the UK's biggest, Ramsgate's Royal Victoria Pavilion.

Throughout the pandemic the company and owner Tim Martin has been making headlines.

Mr Martin told staff to "work at Tesco" amid concerns about government support at the start of the pandemic.

Since then he has been vocal in his opposition to government measures and a number of branches in Kent were blasted for pasting "socially irresponsible" anti-lockdown posters in their windows.

The company's actions saw it named KentOnline readers' villain of the year.

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