Pubs could reopen indoors on April 12th if legal bid is successful
The decision to open non-essential retail before pubs is being called 'plainly irrational'
Hospitality bosses have started a legal battle against the government over the plans on when to reopen indoor hospitality. The focus of the legal bid is the plans in the current roadmap to open non-essential retail a full five weeks before hospitality is permitted to allow indoor mixing.
As part of government plans for coming out of lockdown, shops will be allowed to reopen on April 12th along with outdoor hospitality venues such as pub gardens. Hospitality venues will not be allowed to open their indoor areas until May 17th though, meaning that the vast majority will miss out on a huge amount of trade, assuming they even have an outdoor area to open.
The legal bid has been launched by Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester and co-founder of the Warehouse Project club nights and Parklife Festival, and Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond.
In their letter to the government's legal department announcing their intentions, the two claim that there is "no evidence or justification for the prioritisation" of retail over hospitality. They also argue that the plans will have a 'potentially indirectly discriminatory effect' on young people and those from BAME backgrounds who work in hospitality.
Lord has taken to Twitter to make his case as well.
The Govt have until Wednesday to respond
Hospitality needs time to re order, staff up etc. We need decent advance notice about re-opening
With that in mind, we'll ask that our case is expediated in the High Court
HOSPITALITY SHOULD RE OPEN THE SAME DAY AS NON ESSENTIAL RETAIL
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) March 14, 2021
Meanwhile Osmond has said 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." He described the legal case as giving 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."
All eyes on the government now to see what their response is...