Pub and restaurant bosses lose court battle over England Covid closures

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Industry leaders have lost a legal challenge to compel the government to reopen the restaurant sector before May 17.

The Government has introduced a timetable to allow UK hotel clients in from 17 May, even if restrictions apply.

Sacha Lord, the Greater Manchester Authority's business adviser, along with Punch Taverns boss Hugh Osmond fought for pubs and restaurants to be able to open earlier than the government's timetables allow, in line with non-vital retailers who have already opened.

A High Court judge dismissed the attempt to bring forward an indoor reopening as "academic" as it was unlikely to go ahead before May 17, when pubs and restaurants across England are allowed to accommodate customers in their premises.

17 May is the next phase in the government's roadmap for easing restrictions on pubs, cafes and restaurants operating indoors.

The two men said the verdict came amid an April 30 report by the Sage Scientific Advisory Panel, stating that the risks of transmission 'in hospitality, retail and leisure are relatively low' are 'relatively low'.

The High Court ruled in favour of the government in On the Implementation of Sacha Lord and Hugh Osmond (R) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, arguing that Covid-19 warrants a prudent approach.