A WETHERSPOON pub 500 metres from a hospital will remove Covid lockdown-sceptic posters claiming wards aren’t busy.
The pub chain said it will take down the posters from its boozers after furious social media users branded them “disgraceful”.
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Wetherspoons has said it will remove posters showing an old news article about Covid deaths
The flyers reproduce a news story from November 20 about Covid deaths during the second wave.
It comes as a mutant strain of the virus continues to rip through the country, with deaths now at 81,960 and the country in a third national lockdown.
Sharing a photo of the poster at The London & Rye in Catford, South East London, one Twitter user raged it was “500m from Lewisham Hospital, which is full of Covid patients.”
He posted: “Hey Wetherspoons. Can you take down the Covid posters you’ve stuck up in your pub windows?
“Your posters just encourage people to ignore the lockdown restrictions. Come on.”
Another Twitter user labelled the signs “disgraceful with 1000+ daily deaths and NHS staff stretched”.
Others claimed the posters, taken from company magazine Wetherspoons News, were “spreading misinformation” that could “cause harm”.
And one wrote: “Despicable. I will never go to a Wetherspoons again after this is over.”
The posters were put in the windows of the London & Rye pub in Catford, South East London, close to Lewisham Hospital
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has previously accused the government of “relying on false information” during the pandemic and spoken out against lockdown.
Brits are being urged to stay at home as cases continue to soar, with infections rising yesterday by 46,169 to 3,118,518.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned the “worst weeks” of the pandemic are still to come.
Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has previously spoken out against lockdownCredit: PA:Press Association
These harrowing images from the NHS frontline at Northwick Park Hospital reveal the true impact of the pandemic
Sir Simons Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said yesterday: “We are facing an incredibly serious situation.
“We have more than 30,000 severely ill coronavirus patients in hospitals across England.”
A Wetherspoon spokesman said it intends to take down the posters from its pubs “in the next few days”.
The spokesman said: “The heading for the posters is ‘Read all about it’, which refers to the online edition of Wetherspoon News.
The online edition has articles by most leading newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, New Statesman, Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
“Having said that the posters have been up for six weeks and it is fair to say that a few of the comments are out of date.
“We intend to take the posters down from all Wetherspoon pubs in the next few days.
“It is vital in a democracy to have an informed debate.”
He said there may be an opportunity to replace the posters with “more up to date articles” in due course.
Ross Clark, a journalist whose article was referenced in the posters, told The Daily Star: “While I have written some pieces which are critical of lockdown, the point of the piece in question was to present the data to help people put the situation in perspective.
“I think it is vital to do this because the constant presentation of deaths tolls and worst-case scenarios has affected the mental health of many people — in one poll in the summer many people exaggerated the number of people killed by Covid a hundredfold.”
“All the data presented were correct at the time — which is why the Department of Health and Social Care withdrew their remarks about the piece being misleading.”
Boris Johnson, seen here at a vaccine centre yesterday, is urging people not to bend lockdown lawsCredit: Eddie_Mulholland