Monday, October 12, 2020

England's hospitality bosses prepare legal challenge to Covid lockdowns

 Exclusive: industry leaders say government should show scientific basis for restrictions.

The Black Bull pub in Haworth, West Yorkshire. Trade groups said another closure would cause ‘extreme hardship’. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Media

Nazia Parveen
The Guardian

Business leaders are mounting a legal challenge to the government’s lockdown restrictions, which they say have decimated the hospitality industry.

The challenge to the legality of emergency legislation is due to be handed to Downing Street on Monday as swathes of the country prepared for stricter lockdown rules.

Boris Johnson has come under increasing pressure to act after Scotland announced fresh restrictions on the hospitality sector. Ministers are planning to outline a new three-tiered system of restrictions, with measures expected to force pubs and restaurants to shut across the north of England.

But lawyers for the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), the British Beer and Pub Association and two of the country’s biggest brewers and pub operators, JW Lees and Joseph Holt, alongside another 10 organisations, are to challenge the latest round of coronavirus restrictions affecting the hospitality and entertainment industry.

Industry leaders argue the restrictions, which have already had a significant impact on pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across the country, are not based on any “tangible scientific evidence” that closing venues suppresses transmission of coronavirus.  Read more >>