Covid-19: Hospitality bosses threaten government with court

Covid-19: Hospitality bosses threaten government with court
Pizza Express investor Hugh Osmond and Greater Manchester s night time economy adviser, Sacha Lord, said the industry is losing £200m a day.

In a letter to the prime minister, they said there is no "evidence or justification" to open shops five weeks before pubs and restaurants.

They said it is "plainly irrational".

The government has insisted the lockdown easing must be cautious if it is to be irreversible, adding that it will driven by data and not dates.

Under current plans, non-essential retail will be able to open from 12 April if new coronavirus infections are kept under control. Outdoor hospitality, such as beer gardens, will also be allowed to reopen then.

But pubs and restaurants will not be allowed to welcome customers through their doors to sit inside until at least 17 May.

The industry has long argued that pubs re-opening last July had a negligible effect on infections, which only began to rise after schools reopened. And the Chancellor recently defended his own Eat out to Help out scheme, arguing that it protected jobs.

The two men have asked the government to seek specific advice from scientists "whether it is justifiable to prevent the hospitality industry opening whilst, at the same time, allowing non-essential shops to open".

They argued that "transmission is plainly higher in non-essential shops," and said they would pursue legal action if the government did not provide evidence to the contrary.

"This legal case will give a fighting chance to over three million people who work in hospitality, to the tens of thousands of businesses, suppliers, landlords and contractors - large and small - forced into bankruptcy, and to millions of our loyal customers who have been deprived of the human social interaction they experience in our premises," Mr Osmond said.

He added that the extended lockdown for hospitality venues could have a "potentially indirectly discriminatory effect" on young people and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds working in the sector.

"I believe we can show that discrimination and unsubstantiated beliefs, rather than facts, science and evidence, lie at the heart of much of the government s approach to hospitality, and these wrongs need to be righted."
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
The High Court ruled in favour of the government after a case was brought by Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond, and Sacha Lord, the night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester....
He said pubs made a massive contribution to the economy, with the Wetherspoons chain paying about £10 of tax for every pound of profit it made. His call comes after...
Brewer and pub chain Greene King told the BBC Without the usual slow wind down time that pubs would see with a gradual closure, customers were all leaving at...
Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Tuesday if the hospitality sector can reopen on 4 July and if the 2m distancing rule in England can be relaxed. Non essential shops...
Takeaway alcohol from pubs if it is pre ordered and customers don t enter the premises is movement, but still not anywhere near enough, said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the...