Legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s government’s completely illogical refusal to allow indoor hospitality venues to open whilst allowing indoor retail to open to be decided on this week
In spite of venues with outdoor space being allowed to serve customers on their terraces and in gardens, the hospitality sector in the UK will continue to lose around £200 million per day until the government allows them to serve indoors in mid-May.
This week, following a perfectly sensible legal challenge by Sacha Lord, the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, and Hugh Osmond, the founder of Punch Taverns, the government could be forced to bring forward the date for indoor opening for bars, pubs and restaurants.
Lord and Osmond together quite sensibly argue there is no justification or scientific basis for indoor hospitality to be kept closed for five additional weeks after non-essential retailers in England were allowed to serve customers indoors from 12th April. Their call is correct and the continuation of this illogical set of double standards is doing just one thing: Dealing another body blow to an already devastated sector.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning of their challenge to the crackpot crazy decisions of borderline bonkers’ Boris Johnson’s Tory government, Osmond remarked:
“This is something of a David versus Goliath battle. We are reassured that David won in that instance.”
“At the start of this pandemic there was a totally understandable assumption that hospitality venues might be responsible for the spread of infections. The vision of drunken people in crowded pubs is an easy and obvious target that people understand.”
“The data [now] definitively shows that hospitality was not the major source of infections.”
Elsewhere on Twitter on Friday, Lord remarked: “The government’s defence is just in… They must be concerned, they’ve put their No. 1 legals on the case, Sir James Eadie QC, the First Treasury Counsel.”
Going further this morning, he added: “Thank you for all the good luck messages. It’s not necessarily today, the Judge has said: ‘The week commencing the 19th.’ Again, a real long shot, but as soon as there’s news, I’ll post it here. Enjoy the sun.”
Today, all at The Steeple Times join those supporting the logic of allowing indoor hospitality venues to reopen and reopen now. Let’s get the indoor show back on the road.
Pictured top: Restaurants such as Fifty Cheyne in Chelsea, London have tables that are very clearly separated from one another. As shown in this image, diners can be socially distanced in a manner perfectly reasonable. Why shouldn’t such places – which lack outdoor dining areas and thus cannot even benefit from the currently allowed outdoor opening rules – not be able to get back to business whilst small, cramped shops with little-to-no precautionary measures are allowed to trade?