YESTERDAY pub giant Greene King announced that it would keep 79 sites closed for the time being, with a third of these sites closing permanently. 

This will lead to the cutting of 800 jobs nationwide.

Across Oxfordshire, two Greene King owned pubs have not reopened since lockdown restrictions were lifted on July 4.

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The two pubs that remain closed are the Bullnose Morris on Watlington Road, Blackbird Leys, and The Bell in Crowmash near Wallingford.

Both pubs are part of the Hungry Horse chain that is owned by Greene King. 

Greene King is the UK's largest pub retailer and brewer. 

The pub chain has said new coronavirus restrictions, including the 10pm curfew and the furlough scheme are coming to an end, have created a 'challenge' to trading. 

The chain has also urged the government to do more to help the struggling hospitality sector. 

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A spokeswoman for Greene King said: "The continued tightening of the trading restrictions for pubs, which may last another six months, along with the changes to government support was always going to make a challenge to reopen some of our pubs.

"Therefore, we have made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 sites, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants we announced last week.

"Around one-third will be permanently, and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future.

"We are working hard with our teams to try and find them a role in another of our pubs wherever possible.

"We urgently need the Government to step in and provide tailored support to the sector get through to the spring and prevent further pub closures and job losses."

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