Hospitality groups threaten legal action over lockdown restrictions in England


Lawyers for the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), the British Beer and Pub Association, plus 11 other organisations are preparing to mount a legal challenge to any lockdown restrictions on hospitality businesses in England by the UK government.

The challenge is based on no “tangible scientific evidence” that closing venues suppresses transmission of coronavirus and to the legality of emergency legislation as licensees in the north of England prepare for stricter lockdown rules being announced today similar to those imposed by Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland on Friday.

NTIA chief executive Michael Kill (pictured), said, “The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the north of England.

“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late-night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period. This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to transmission rates, when compared with other key environments. Systematic closure of businesses across the UK must be challenged when there is no clear evidence or reason.”

The UK government is already facing a challenge to its 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants in England from owner of London nightclub business G-A-Y, Jeremy Joseph.

Last week, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that two-thirds of the wages of workers in businesses forced to close by local and national lockdowns will be covered by the government under an expanded job support scheme with additional business support restricted to hospitality businesses in England only.