A Manchester club employer is pushing ahead with his legal challenge to the 10 pm curfew, declaring the government has failed to offer any clinical proof to support it.
Jeremy Joseph, who owns the G-A-Y chain, including its Canal Street branch, accused the Health Secretary of ‘dither and delay’ by asking for another fortnight to respond to his legal representatives.
He has actually now instructed barristers to release judicial review proceedings over the enforced early closing time, after serving a pre-action protocol earlier today
” In spite of G-A-Y providing an extension of time to reply to our lawyers, the government has actually still not supplied any proof to support the 10 pm curfew,” he stated.
” Instead, they have actually requested a full 14 days to come back to us.
” Our reaction was clear: if this proof existed Matt Hancock would surely have it to hand. Why the ‘dither and delay’?
” The reality is that the Federal government have still not offered any justification for a law that is putting clients, companies and jobs at danger with every passing day.”
The curfew was presented from September 24, requiring clubs, restaurants, bars and other leisure tourist attractions to close at 10 pm.
The step has actually been extensively criticised by operators, who say they have actually seen earnings fall considerably due to the decrease in trading hours. It has actually likewise led to crowded and chaotic scenes on public transportation and in off-licences at tossing out time.
Mr Joseph said the curfew was ‘not just thoughtless but threatens lives’.
” We want G-A-Y locations to be safe, it’s how we operate,” he stated.
” We concur with the other brand-new Covid-secure steps such as track and trace, six-person rule, table service and face coverings.
” These are all based upon released scientific info, but the curfew merely is not and does not work.
” What we are seeing, first-hand, is our clients going from being safe in our places to risky on crowded streets and busy public transport.
” The impact of the curfew in fact goes against the government’s own guidance.
” We get no staggering, enormous cumulative impact, overcrowding of public places and transportation hubs – all circumstances in which Covid spreads. “
Mr Joseph said the market ‘will not survive’ a continuous curfew, specifically in the event of more lockdowns, which it has been reported could close hospitality companies in parts of the north next week
The judicial review is supported by The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
Michael Kill, CEO, said: “Our sector has seen the methodical closure of services and the loss of countless jobs through curfews and constraints implemented by federal government, which have no clinical basis.
” Provided the gravity of the decisions being made by government on constraints, we had hoped that they might have the ability to respond and provide clear evidence for the choice to execute the 10 pm curfew and additional restrictions, but they have actually been not able to do this.”
Dan Rosenberg, from law practice Simpson Millar, which is representing G-A-Y Group, added: “Our customers are hugely sensitive to the requirement to prioritise the health of the general public and this includes sticking to any guidelines and policies that are presented to help manage the virus.
” Ultimately, their service in the long term depends upon the infection being brought under control.
” Nevertheless, it is also their strong belief that the decisions that are being made must, essentially, be backed up by scientific evidence which can categorically reveal what function it will play in controlling the spread of Covid-19
” It is frustrating that the Federal government has actually failed to offer this evidence to date.
” While there are even more most likely constraints on trading for places – especially those based in the north – our customers feel it is necessary to take additional action in regard of the curfew, which is a discrete and separate issue.
” They stop working to see the reasoning behind the approximate decision for all locations to close at 10 pm.”
A Government spokesperson stated: “ As legal procedures are ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment.”