Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral Taverns has warned that up to 25% of its pubs could close if the government brings in an outdoor-only policy when restrictions are relaxed for pubs.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Jowsey said his fear was that if they allowed pubs to open outdoors the government would stop the support they have been providing up to now. “Indoor businesses would be unable to open, and those businesses would fail,” he said.

Admiral Taverns operates more than 1,000 pubs across the UK, with the majority of its sites wet-led. Jowsey explained that due to the fact many of its pubs, predominately in the north of England and the Midlands, are often not in particularly affluent areas “the demand for draught beer when you can’t meet the people you want to meet in the pub is not as high as you might think”.

He added that during July to September – when its pubs were allowed to reopen, the business only received 15 notifications from the Test and Trace scheme to inform them someone had visited one of their venues who had tested positive for Covid-19.