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UK club owner to legally challenge gov’s 10pm curfew

G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph has hired leading barristers to challenge the "detrimental" curfew implemented last month

By IQ on 05 Oct 2020

London nightclub G-A-Y

London nightclub G-A-Y

image © Wikimedia Commons/Ross Burgess

Jeremy Joseph, the owner of London nightclub G-A-Y, has hired leading barristers from Kings Chambers and Simpson Miller Solicitors to challenge the government’s decision to implement a national curfew of 10 pm on hospitality premises.

The 10 pm curfew came into effect on 24 September and has reportedly caused a “catastrophic” drop in trade for businesses, believed to be solely due to the implementation of the new restrictions, according to a recent survey.

The pre-action protocol for judicial review saw the legal team, which is supported by G-A-Y’s longstanding legal and business affairs advisor and Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), write to the secretary of state, Matt Hancock at the department of health and social care with a formal challenge to the health protection which was amended to include the new curfew.

“The 10 pm curfew, which has now been in place for the last two weeks and has been detrimental to the hospitality sector including G-A-Y, makes absolutely no sense,” says Joseph.

“It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them onto the street at the same time. They are going from being safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport.

“This government has failed to show why the 10 pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation.

“This gov has failed to show why the curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation”

“It seems to direct the blame for this action on the sector, consistently treating the night-time economy as a scapegoat when, in fact, we have years of operational experience of keeping customers safe, and have spent substantial time and effort making sure our venues are Covid secure.

“Enough is Enough. Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have to be made accountable and today we have instructed our legal team with the support of the NTIA to serve the government with a pre-action protocol for judicial review to challenge the decision to implement the national curfew of 10 pm on the hospitality sector.”

Dan Rosenberg, partner at Simpson Miller, said: “Our clients are well aware of the need to prioritise the health of the public and are supportive of any measures that help control the virus. Ultimately, their businesses in the long term depend upon the virus being brought under control.”

“However, while they have been supportive of other decisions made by government, including in relation to social distancing and other measures to protect the safety of their patrons, they fail to see the logic behind the arbitrary decision for all venues to close at 10 pm.”

The new restrictions affect businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) – along with social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.

Concert venues and theatres are permitted to stay open past the 10 pm curfew, though only if the performance has already started.

In addition, the new £10,000 fines for those who breach social distancing legislation will be extended from individuals to businesses.


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