Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord, has secured the right to challenge the government’s decision on not reopening indoor hospitality until 17th May in the High Court.
The case has been expedited to the High Court after a judge decided in favour of the challenge to the government’s decision brought forward by Sacha Lord and legal advisor, Hugh Osmond.
Lord’s case argued that the decision to make delay the indoor reopening of pubs and restaurants until six weeks after other indoor settings such as close-contact beauty treatments and non-essential retailers was not based on scientific evidence.
The Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Advisor estimates that as many as 60% of hospitality venues will be unable to reopen on the 12th April as they lack sufficient outdoor space to serve customers profitably, if at all. In an interview with Sky News this morning, Sacha Lord recounted that evidence presented by Government to justify the decision did not consider the millions of pounds spent by the sector to make spaces Covid-safe for last year’s reopening, and that modelling on the risk of transmission was based on data with no social distancing or other measures in place.
A High Court judge will now hear the case for consideration the week commencing Monday April 19th.
Sacha Lord said of today’s legal decision:
We are pleased with the Judge’s decision today to expedite the case and believe the Government’s response this morning was yet another stalling tactic to divert attention away from the lack of scientific data to justify the ongoing closures.
“With non-essential retail opening on Monday, there is clearly a firm basis for the case to be heard immediately. The Government has continuously failed to introduce any new evidence as to why indoor hospitality cannot open on 12 April alongside non-essential retail, or any justification for their prioritisation of retail over hospitality.”