Hospitality bosses lose court battle over indoor opening

Hospitality bosses have lost a legal challenge for a faster reopening for indoor dining in England.

The High Court ruled in favour of the government after a case was brought by Punch Taverns founder Hugh Osmond, and Sacha Lord, the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester.

Pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen – but only outdoors – on 12 April, along with non-essential shops.

Mr Lord said they were disappointed by the outcome.

Mr Lord and Mr Osmond argued there was no justification or scientific basis for hospitality to be kept closed for five weeks, after retailers in England were allowed to serve customers indoors from mid-April.

Mr Lord said: “While this fight has always been an uphill battle… we are pleased that the case has shone a light on the hospitality sector and the unfair and unequal guidance within the recovery roadmap.”

“Despite the outcome, we will continue to hold the government to account and demand evidence-based decisions, rather than those drafted without detailed analysis or based on bias or whim.”

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