Bosses in the night-time sector are set to mount a legal challenge against the Government’s “catastrophic” local lockdown plans, as pubs, bars and restaurants fear for their survival.
The industry’s largest trade body has threatened action after Downing Street announced a new three-tier system under which pubs and bars will be closed in some parts of the country.
The Night Time Industries Association, which represents more than 1,400 businesses across the UK’s night-time economy, said it had been left with “no other option but to legally challenge” the new restrictions.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, said: “The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from Government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England.
“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.”
Hospitality businesses in Liverpool – which is facing the most severe restrictions – supported the NTIA’s legal challenge, saying that the data doesn’t suggest that the sector is causing the virus to spread.
Fiona Hornsby, the owner of the Denbigh Castle pub in Liverpool, said: “I thought we were all supposed to be in this together, you can’t just pick on small pubs that are doing everything they can at great expense to keep customers safe.”
She added that the financial support in place for businesses that will be forced to close amounts to “nothing”.
“Hospitalitty staff are notoriously not particularly well paid and will lose their tips as a result of this lockdown. They’ll be trying to get by on about 50pc of their usual income,” Ms Hornsby said.