G-A-Y owner launches legal challenge against 10pm curfew

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

About turn: G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph is looking for a judicial review to get the curfew overturned, which was implemented from Thursday 24 September
About turn: G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph is looking for a judicial review to get the curfew overturned, which was implemented from Thursday 24 September

Related tags: Legislation, Legal action, Government, Nightclub

Owner and CEO of nightclub business G-A-Y Jeremy Joseph has launched a legal challenge to the Government’s 10pm national curfew on hospitality venues.

Joseph is looking for a judicial review to have the curfew overturned, which was implemented from Thursday 24 September.

His legal team have written to secretary of state Matt Hancock with a formal challenge to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 as amended on 24 September to include the nationwide 10pm curfew.

The G-A-Y CEO said: “The 10pm curfew, which has now been in place for the past two weeks and has been detrimental to the hospitality sector including G-A-Y, makes absolutely no sense.

“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 10pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation."

Operational experience

#CancelTheCurfew

The Morning Advertiser ​is urging its readers to use #CancelTheCurfew​ across your social media and to tag in your MPs and other politicians demanding an answer to the trade’s question – where’s the science for the curfew?

If they can’t answer that, then we want the Government to #CancelTheCurfew

He added: “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 ensuring our venues are Covid-secure.

“Enough is enough. Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have to be made accountable and we have instructed our legal team with the support of the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) to serve the Government with a Pre-Action Protocol for judicial review to challenge the decision to implement the national curfew of 10pm on the hospitality sector.”

Simpson Miller Daniel partner Dan Rosenberg, is one of those who have been instructed alongside barristers at Kings Chambers Sam Karim, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides, supported by Kirsty McShannon from legal advisor to G-A-Y, Azorra.

Rosenberg said: “Our clients are well aware of the need to prioritise the health of the public and are supportive of any measure that help control the virus.

“Ultimately, their businesses in the long term depend on the virus being brought under control. However, while they have been supportive of other decisions made by the Government, including in relation to social distancing and other measure to protect the safety of their patrons, they fail to see the logic behind the arbitrary decision for all venues to close at 10pm.”

NTIA boss Michael Kill criticised the lack of scientific evidence from the Government in enforcing the curfew.

Catastrophic impact

He said: “The implementation of the 10pm curfew and further restrictions on the sector has had a catastrophic impact on business levels, resulting in thousands of businesses making the difficult decision to close the doors, or make staff redundant.”

“The decision to implement a curfew makes no sense and has no published scientific or medical foundation to reduce transmission rates. If anything, it is counterproductive, with thousands leaving hospitality venues at 10pm, creating mass gatherings on the street and overcrowding public transport.”

“Jeremy Josepth and his team at G-A-Y have been a long-standing members of the NTIA, and we are fully supportive of the action he has taken to start Pre-Action Protocol to judicially review the decision by Government to implement the national curfew of 10pm on all hospitality sector businesses.”

Azorra founder and director Kirsty McShannon said G-A-Y had worked tirelessly, at substantial cost for many months, ensuring it complies with all relevant Covid secure guidance and laws to protect its staff and customers, often taking action before being legally required to do so.

She added: “However, it can see no logic whatsoever behind the 10pm curfew which is crippling an already struggling industry and appears to be putting customer safety at risk without any evidenced justification. Our client can see no alternative other than to challenge this decision in order to protect its own business and the wider hospitality sector.”

Related topics: Legislation

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