Covid: Licensed traders threaten legal action over Scottish curbs

Five Scottish hospitality industry bodies have launched a legal challenge against the Scottish government’s Covid restrictions.

The trade bodies say they will petition for a judicial review if the current curbs are not withdrawn.

The move was announced after the restrictions, including pub closures in the central belt, were extended.

Nicola Sturgeon said businesses had the right to challenge decisions, but she added they were not “taken lightly”.

Spokesman for the traders, Paul Waterson, warned the sector was “at breaking point”.

The organisations behind the proposed legal bid include;

  • the Scottish Beer & Pub Association
  • the Scottish Licensed Trade Association
  • UK Hospitality (Scotland)
  • the Scottish Hospitality Group
  • and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland

They issued a pre-action letter to the Scottish government demanding it withdraw the current regulations and enter into a “meaningful consultation with the [hospitality] sector”.

The group says it wants an answer from ministers by 4pm on Wednesday, 28 October and if a satisfactory response is not received it will petition for a Judicial Review.

Mr Waterson explained: “It is with regret that we now commence with this first stage in the legal process. We understand and entirely support the goal of suppressing the virus, but our sector is at breaking-point.

“Despite having more mitigation measures than other sectors and the vast majority of operators going above and beyond in ensuring customer safety, our sector has been repeatedly targeted without consultation and without the evidence.”

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