A PUB owner “cannot wait for the Government to make a decision” and will open the doors to his business on July 4 - saying any more delay will put jobs at risk.

Peter Borg-Neal owns The Anchor in Ferry Road, Hullbridge, which is part of 29-pub chain run by Oakman Inns.

Oakman Inns announced it would be opening all its pubs on July 4 and have “challenged the Prime Minister to tell them otherwise”.

Mr Borg-Neal said: “Oakman Inns will be opening all sites on July 4.

“It would irresponsible for us to delay as we would be putting jobs at risk.

“To open without proper forward planning would also be wrong.


“We cannot wait for the Government to make a decision.”

Around 90 per cent of their 1,000 employees have been on furlough since pubs were told to lock their doors in March, but now Oakman’s chief operating officer, Dermot King, has said they are preparing to serve drinks and food on their premises again.

He said: “We will be opening on July 4, despite the lack of clarity given to the hospitality sector by the Government.

“We cannot wait any longer and won’t change our plans unless the Prime Minister intervenes.

“The operational challenges of restarting a business are complex. We need to plan three weeks out to arrange supplies of, in our case, fresh food and cask ales. “While the rules on furlough allow us to complete training, we cannot prepare menus - and that requires time. Unless the Government performs another policy U-turn, we need to invest in that time now.”

Staff in the call centres for the booking line re-open today.

Furniture has been re-arranged, glass screens have been installed and disposable menus introduced.

Table numbers are set at a maximum of eight.

Customers order through an app and there will be table service only.