Hospitality, tourism and wedding sectors unite to threaten legal action over reopening delays

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Hospitality, tourism and wedding sectors unite to threaten legal action over reopening delays

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More than 45 hospitality, tourism, weddings and events companies have jointly written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatening legal action should the July reopening date face further delay.

The open letter, led by Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, calls for sector specific support following the four week extension to the Covid-19 roadmap.

The letter, which urges the Government to reconsider its decision to withhold financial aid, the letter has been signed by industry names including Chris Jowsey, CEO at pub chain Admiral Taverns, Peter Marks, CEO at Rekom Nightclubs, Michael Kill, CEO at Night Time Industries Association, and William Lees-Jones, managing director at JW Lees Brewery.

It describes how the represented industries have ‘suffered enormously’ due to the repeated closures and reopenings, the ongoing lack of certainty and ‘draconian social distancing measures and the illogical rules implemented and then removed’.

"The restrictions with which these businesses have had to comply have often been entirely illogical and arbitrary in nature, and demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of how their various sectors function,” the letter states.

"It has been impossible for the affected sectors to operate anywhere near their pre-Covid levels, and for each day that the Covid restrictions remain in place, sectors such as hospitality ... continue to suffer enormous losses."

"The treatment of these sectors’ employees and business owners is deplorable and cannot continue. Industries such as hospitality, events, exhibitions and travel simply cannot endure further hardship."

The hospitality sector in particular is expected to lose £3bn over the course of the four-week delay.

Supporting the move, Michael Kill says: “The  eleventh hour delay to reopening announced by the Prime Minister on Monday was yet another devastating blow to nightlife businesses, and the Government then rubbed salt into the wounds by indicating that support programmes like furlough and business rates relief would not be extended.

“Our sector simply cannot countenance another delay. That is why today – along with a number of trade bodies and businesses from other affected sectors, we are putting the Government on notice that we intend to take legal action should they deviate from the extended roadmap with full reopening on 19 July.”

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