Bosses across the hospitality sector lost a legal battle recently in an attempt to force the UK government to allow them to open for indoor dining before the upcoming deadline.
The case was brought by Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife Festival and night-time economy advisor for Greater Manchester, and Hugh Osmond, former Pizza Express boss. They argued that there was no scientific justification to keep indoor hospitality closed for weeks after non-essential retail had been allowing customers indoors.
The case claimed that approximately 60% of pubs, bars, and restaurants do not have the outdoor space in order to accompany those few customers they were legally allowed to serve from 12 April.
They further cited findings by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), published on 30 April, that transmission rates in hospitality, leisure, and retail spaces were relatively low, even indoors.
However, a high court judge dismissed the case as “academic”, as logistically they wouldn’t have been able to have the hearing take place before 17 May, the time when they could open indoors anyway.
The claimants rebuffed this, saying it wasn’t “academic” for their sector, which they claim is losing £200m every day indoor space remains closed. Arguing on behalf of over 3 million people who work in the industry, they lamented the decision.
While they agree that there wasn’t enough time to launch a legal challenge before 17 May, Osmond has claimed he will be reviewing other legal options regarding the situation.