The Wetherspoon pub chain saw its share price plunge by 18 percent on Friday after it revealed losses of Â£105.4 million ($136 million, 116 million euros) as a result of the March to July lockdown - its first deficit in 36 years.
Such regulations include the table service requirement in restaurants and bars, which is "expensive to implement and undermines the essential nature of pubs for many people", Martin continued, as well as face coverings, "for which the health benefits are debatable", he said. Lancashire is also due to move into Tier 3.
"In marked contrast to the consistency of the comparatively successful Swedish approach, which emphasises social distancing, hygiene and trust in the people, the erratic United Kingdom government is jumping from pillar to post and is both tightening and tinkering with regulations, so we are now in quasi-lockdown which is producing visibly worse outcomes than those in Sweden, in respect of both health and the economy. If you don't get too close to someone you won't get infected, that works better". The pub group, run by chairman Tim Martin, an outspoken critic of coronavirus restrictions, reported a £34m (€37.5m) pre-tax loss for the year to July 26, versus a profit of £102m a year earlier.
Like-for-like sales decreased during the period by 29.5 per cent, having increased by 5.9 per cent in the first half.
The firm's chairman pointed out that like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks since 26 July have been 15% below those of a year ago, with strong sales in the first few weeks, followed by a marked slowdown since the introduction of a curfew and other restrictions.
JD Wetherspoon employs 41,000 staff. The staff were told to self-isolate and were paid in full, while other employees were brought in to cover shifts so that the pubs could remain open. "But what's happened under emergency powers, the government is making a lot of changes which we think in the industry are arbitrary [and] don't work, like the curfew and that's making life nearly impossible".
But soaring rates in northwest England have forced even more stringent restrictions, with pubs only allowed to serve alcohol as part of sit-down meals.
The hospitality industry has been one of the worst hit sectors during the pandemic.