Despite G-A-Y giving an extension of time to reply to our lawyers, the government has still not provided any evidence to support the 10pm curfew. Instead, they have asked for a full 14-days to come back to us.
Our response was clear; if this evidence existed Matt Hancock would surely have it to hand. Why the “dither and delay”?? The fact is the Government have still not provided any justification for a law that is putting customers, businesses and jobs at risk with every passing day.
Yesterday it was reported in the press that Boris Johnson is planning to shut down hospitality venues in the North from Monday and a “traffic light” system for local lockdowns is likely to be announced in the coming days. Even with a “green-light”, hospitality is expected to have to close at 10pm. This industry will not survive an ongoing curfew, especially if we are going to be put into more lockdowns, it’s impossible!!
We want G-A-Y venues to be safe, it’s how we operate. We agree with the other new Covid-secure measures such as track and trace, six person rule, table service and face coverings. These are all based on published scientific information but the curfew simply is not and does not work. What we are seeing, first-hand, is our customers going from being safe in our venues to unsafe on crowded streets and busy public transport.
The effect of the curfew actually goes against the Government’s own guidance. We get no staggering, massive cumulative impact, overcrowding of public places and transport hubs – all circumstances in which Covid spreads. The curfew is not only thoughtless but threatens lives and likely leads to the increase of Covid contamination. It undermines all the good work being done by our NHS and our hospitality industry.
Since the Government will not engage with us, G-A-Y has been left with no choice but to take immediate action to protect hospitality and public safety. Today we have instructed our lawyers to issue judicial review proceedings against the Government to challenge the arbitrary and nonsensical 10pm curfew. We need this government to work to protect hospitality whilst keeping customers safe.
Michael Kill, CEO Night Time Industries Association said, “Our sector has seen the systematic closure of businesses and the loss of thousands of jobs through curfews and restrictions enforced by Government, which have no scientific basis”
“Given the gravity of the decisions being made by Government on restrictions, we had hoped that they may be able to respond and supply clear evidence for the decision to implement the 10pm curfew and further restrictions, but they have been unable to do this”
“This leaves no option for Jeremy Joseph, G-A-Y and Legal team but to follow through with proceedings”
Dan Rosenberg from Simpson Millar, representing G-A-Y Group Limited added, “Our clients are hugely sensitive to the need to prioritise the health of the public, and this includes adhering to any rules and regulations that are introduced to help control the virus. Ultimately, their business in the long term depends upon the virus being brought under control.
“However, it is also their strong belief that the decisions that are being made must, fundamentally, be backed up by scientific evidence which can categorically show what role it will play in controlling the spread of Covid-19.
“It is disappointing that the Government has failed to provide this evidence to date. While there are further likely limitations on trading for venues – especially those based in the North – our clients feel it is important to further take further action in respect of the curfew, which is a discrete and separate issue.
“They fail to see the logic behind the arbitrary decision for all venues to close at 10.00pm.”