One of the United Kingdom’s largest pub chains is set to axe around 800 jobs and close up to 79 of its pubs and restaurants as the company feels the long term pressure of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The redundancies represent a small fraction of Greene King’s 38,000-strong workforce but show the issues that the hospitality industry is facing with the furlough scheme coming to an end and the 10pm curfew being put into place to slow the spread of a second wave of the virus.

In a recent statement, Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive, said: “The industry is still dealing with the crippling aftereffects of the nationwide lockdown and the cumulative effect of the new restrictions, combined with the singling out of pubs, mean the measures announced by the chancellor don’t go far enough, especially for drink-led city centre pubs.

“With Public Health England figures showing only 5% of all outbreaks are linked to hospitality, it feels like pubs are being unfairly targeted when there is little evidence that they enable the spread of Covid-19.”