Hospitality industry to take legal action over new restrictions

Stockholm
Isobel's bar at Bank Hotel, Stockholm (picture from Bank Hotel)

The UK’s hospitality industry will be taking legal action against the new lockdown restrictions around the country.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said that the industry had been left with “no other option”, as new rules could lead to the closure of pubs to close.

NTIA boss Michael Kill said: “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 Public Health England transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.

“Another closure will undoubtedly cause extreme hardship. The gravitas of the situation and the impact on the industry has been elongated and uncompromising,” he added.

The British Beer and Pub Association has backed the legal action by NTIA.

The news comes as the UK government sets out a three-tier system for lockdown restrictions across the country. Liverpool will be placed on the strictest tier and the city will see pubs, bars, gyms and casinos close.

A spokesperson from Downing Street said: “Our primary focus has always been to protect lives and livelihoods while controlling the spread of the virus, and these measures will help achieve that aim.”

Sacha Lord, Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, said: “Once again the government wants to shut down pubs and bars, but this cannot keep happening and we need to understand why the hospitality industry is being isolated like this – where is the scientific evidence to suggest closing venues suppresses transmission?”