PUB chain JD Wetherspoon has singled out the tier system in Scotland as “extremely onerous” as it revealed a sales plunge of 27.6 per cent.

Group chairman Tim Martin criticised the “baffling and confusing” coronavirus restrictions at a national and regional level across the UK.

Wetherspoon said: “The Scottish pubs, in particular, are subject to an extremely onerous tier system which, as has been widely reported, is having a serious effect on trade.”

There are currently 64 trading pubs in Scotland, and 51 in Wales, while the firm is set to burn through around £14 million while 756 pubs are closed in the second English lockdown.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Wetherspoon sinks to £105m loss 

Wetherspoon said its slide in sales in the 15 weeks to November 8 followed a tough October after the 10pm curfew came into effect in late September, as well as table service and mandatory use of face masks.

Mr Martin said: “For any pub or restaurant company trading in different parts of the UK, and for customers generally, the constantly changing national and local regulations, combined with geographical areas moving from one tier to another in the different jurisdictions, are baffling and confusing.

“The entire regulatory situation is a complete muddle. However, the initial regulations, following reopening, introduced on July 4, were carefully thought through, followed thorough consultation, and were based on solid scientific foundations of social distancing and hygiene,” Mr Martin said.

“The benefits of the regulatory hyperactivity since then, including the imposition of a curfew, are questionable.”

The company undertook a share placing in April 2020 that raised £137.7m, and £48.3m was raised through a CLBILS loan in August. It had £234m of liquidity in October, and said “liquidity is significantly higher, and current liabilities are lower, than before the March lockdown”.

It said it could not rule out future job cuts last month as the company reported its first annual loss in decades.

The pub chain reported a loss of £105.4m after sales took a £556m hit from the Covid-19 crisis.

The loss was the first time the chain has sunk into the red since 1984 but the company said it remains confident that it can continue to trade. Wetherspoon shares closed flat at 1,120p.