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JD Wetherspoon PLC (LON:JDW) boss Tim Martin has lashed out at the government after his pubs and others were blamed for leading to a second wave of UK coronavirus cases.

There have been a number of reports that ‘Spoons pubs were not enforcing social distancing rules.

Several customers telling newspapers that the FTSE 250 group’s drinking houses were not asking customers to provide personal details for the government’s track and trace system, though this seems to be not uncommon in the industry.  

After an investigation by a Scottish newspaper found several Spoons pubs were failing to ask for mobile phone data the advisory rule was made law. 

After a Guardian about overcrowding in its pubs leading to a lack of social distancing, the company said it “is making strenuous efforts to comply with the regulations around social distancing. 

“Whereas it is not possible to create an entirely risk-free environment, the company will continue to modify and improve its systems in response to Covid-19 and will review the procedures at any individual pub which is the subject of complaint.”

And then executive chairman Martin shifted the blame on the government for bringing in the lockdown in the first place, saying Britain should have followed Sweden’s laissez-faire example. 

“The Swedes are building a winning position in this fractious debate – not through debating prowess or slogans, but because they’re right. Most believe that the government zigged in the wrong direction during lockdown – so now it’s time to zag,” Martin told the Evening Standard. 

Martin earlier this month called on the UK’s top scientists to share their evidence linking coronavirus outbreaks to customers in pubs, arguing that his customers are not especially at risk from catching COVID-19 compared to other places.

Wetherspoon shares were up and down on Monday, standing roughly flat at 986.95p by mid-afternoon.