Government Faces Legal Challenge over 10pm Curfew

5 October 2020

Lawyers representing the G-A-Y Group Ltd have today issued a Letter before Action (pre-action protocol) to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care calling for a review into the imposed 10pm curfew across England which affects bars, restaurants and other related venues.

In a Letter before Action issued by Public Law Solicitors at Simpson Millar on their client’s behalf, HM Government was urged to provide evidence of the scientific and rational basis for the decision, which has now been in place for over a week.

 It calls on the Government to respond in relation to this matter by Tuesday, October 6th, and to provide:

  • Any scientific evidence provided by SAGE or any other body or advisory group
  • A copy of any impact assessment conducted by the Government in respect of the impact of a 10.00pm curfew on the spread of the virus, and the impact on the industry

Dan Rosenberg, Public Law Solicitor at Simpson Millar 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 broadly supportive of other decisions made by the 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 10.00pm.” 

Barristers at Kings Chambers, including Sam Karim QC, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides, working alongside Dan Rosenberg, have been instructed by Jeremy Joseph of G-A-Y, the iconic club at Heaven in Charing Cross, to challenge the latest round of coronavirus restrictions affecting the hospitality and entertainment industry in particular.

The pre-action protocol for Judicial Review has been served to challenge the Government’s decision to implement a national curfew of 10pm on hospitality premises. The curfew, which has had a significant impact on pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across the country has been in place since 24th September 2020 and has been widely criticised by industry experts and politicians alike.

Simpson Millar’s legal team of public law and licensing law experts have written to the Secretary of State, Matt Hancock at the Department of Health & Social Care with a formal challenge to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 as amended on 24th September to include the 10pm curfew.

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