UK News Hospitality groups launch legal action against Scottish Government
Confusion as bars that serve 'substantial' meals spared shutdown
In legislation relating to areas in the 'very high' tier, clarity is given as to what constitutes a meal in a pub (pictured, in Liverpool) in England.In legislation relating to areas in the 'very high' tier, clarity is given as to what constitutes a meal in a pub.
Five hospitality industry bodies in Scotland have launched legal action against restrictions imposed on the trade by the Scottish Government.
The move comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that measures on the sector due to end on Monday will be extended for a further seven days.
These include the closure of licensed premises in the central belt and the curbing of alcohol sales indoors in other parts of the country.
A joint pre-action letter has now been sent to the Scottish Government by the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, UKHospitality (Scotland), the Scottish Hospitality Group and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland.
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As London prepares to move into Tier 2 at midnight tonight Kate Nicholls of UKHospitality has warned the lack of sector-specific funding could be 'catastrophic', causing major job losses.Last night revellers descended onto London's streets to enjoy the final night out before the capital is plunged into the tighter lockdown restrictions, announced yesterday by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Paul Waterson, group spokesman, said: “We understand and entirely support the goal of suppressing the virus, but our sector is at breaking point.
“Despite having more mitigation measures than other sectors and the vast majority of operators going above and beyond in ensuring customer safety, our sector has been repeatedly targeted without consultation and without the evidence.
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“Anecdotal evidence is not the way to go about making Government decisions and the sector should not be used as a balance to uncontrollable risks in other far less regulated and unmonitored sectors.
“The economic support offered to premises doesn’t come close to compensating the businesses and means jobs are being lost and livelihoods ruined.
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“Any measures must be proportionate and be backed up by evidence, we do not believe that is the case here.
“The industry simply cannot endure the extension of the current restriction, further restrictive measures expected from the 2nd of November, or to get into a stop-start situation.
“We are now facing the end of our industry as we know it. The battle is now on to save the hospitality sector.”
The pre-action letter requests a response to legal challenges by 4pm on Wednesday, otherwise the parties say they will ask the courts for a judicial review.
Restrictions are now due to last until a new tiered system is put in place by the Scottish Government on November 2, which will impose measures based on the prevalence of coronavirus in the local area.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford snaps at criticism of 'firebreak' .
Mark Drakeford could not hide his frustration as he was repeatedly questioned on the restrictions, which come into force from 6pm for 17 days. He insisted they were 'fair' and crucial to stop the spread of the virus. But when he was challenged over whether it was 'essential' for parents to buy new school trousers if their children ripped them, Mr Drakeford moaned: 'It is just the wrong way to approach this whole business.'We are back to the ''how do you we get round the rules'' approach to coronavirus.' He added tetchily: 'There is a bigger prize at stake here than whether you need to buy a candle or not.