Young’s will continue to trade its pubs as “a place of sanctuary in these uncertain and worrying times”.

The pub operator has introduced guidelines on ‘social-distancing’ and said it was upholding strict health and hygiene measures to protect our customers and our teams.

Young’s will introduce a ‘property’ rent holiday for a period of three months, starting this week.

From a financial perspective, the group is taking measures to reduce costs, optimise working capital and protect its financial position.

The pub operator said it had a strong balance sheet, a predominantly freehold estate, one of the lowest gearing ratios in the industry at 25.7%, and significant financial headroom within its banking facilities.

CEO Patrick Dardis said: “These are challenging and uncertain times and we must all come together to do the right thing during the peak period of Covid-19. We have a resilient business underpinned by great people who we will support through this crisis. However, let’s be in no doubt that with pub closures imminent, albeit hopefully for only a short period, all businesses in our sector will be severely impacted. We must remember, as painful as this will be, that it will be temporary, and we look forward to welcoming all our customers back to our great pubs once we are through this. We remain confident in our strategy for the business.”