Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has started legal action against the Government over the lockdown of hospitality.
Lord had set a deadline of yesterday for the government to provide evidence as to why hospitality’s re-opening date – currently May 17 for indoor service - is set to come after that of non-essential retail – April 12.
He said on Twitter yesterday: “Hospitality, with measures in place, should open the same day as non-essential retail.”
“We've just received the Governments response. They have failed to introduce any new evidence as to why indoor hospitality cannot open the same day as non-essential retail. We'll now be working through the night to take our case to the High Court for a Judicial Review.”
Today he added: “As well as operating within safe environments, this case is also about saving people’s jobs and businesses.”
Lord is backed in his legal action by the Night Time Industries Association, the BBPA and a number of suppliers and venues in the trade.
On Saturday, UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, reacted to the planned challenge to the Government. “While any restrictions remain in place, our pubs and restaurants can only break even and the viability of thousands remains at risk – we lost over 12,000 in the last year alone.
“That is why we urge the Government to review the roadmap and look to remove or reduce restrictions on trading – table service, online or takeaway only, no standing outdoors – at the earliest possible opportunity. It may also be possible to allow some limited indoor operations to resume at an earlier date.
“While we understand the need for caution, we would urge the Government to review the roadmap again and make decisions based on data, not dates.”