Under the business grants scheme outlined by Rishi Sunak, Oakman Inns would have received more than £250,000 during the next four months. However, King says he is prepared to give that back to the Government to help pay for a bigger and quicker vaccination roll-out.
“The only route to any normality is through mass vaccination and for that the NHS needs to be able to work at scale. The entire hospitality industry is desperate to re-open as quickly as possible before we have huge scale redundancies across the sector,” says King.
Oakman Inns operates 28 pubs across many of the Home Counties and the Midlands which have large refrigeration areas to help with storage of the vaccines and which are Coivd-19 safe.
“Our pubs have large indoor spaces and in some cases large car parks and accommodation, which could accommodate large numbers of people around the clock. Clearly, the money offered by the Chancellor yesterday would help us in the short-term, but realistically the only way all of us can get back to normal is to get the country vaccinated,” adds King.”
“We would rather let the Government keep their hand-out to invest it in using hospitality venues as vaccination centres for the greater good of all.