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UKH urges govt to review roadmap following legal challenge

Published:  15 March, 2021

UK Hospitality (UKH) has urged the government to review the roadmap again following the instigation of legal action by Pizza Express investor Hugh Osmond and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord.

The instigation of legal action against the government was taken over the lack of evidence for delaying reopening of hospitality industry for five weeks after ‘non-essential’ retail. 

Calling on the government to “make decisions based on data, not dates”, Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKH, said: “The swift vaccine rollout and its impact on case numbers is extremely positive. 

“It gives us hope that the Government will be able to deliver on its commitment to make this the last ever lockdown and, most importantly, to remove all social distancing restrictions for good on 21 June,” she said. 

While any restrictions remained in place, pubs and restaurants could only break even and the viability of thousands remained at risk – “we lost over 12,000 in the last year alone”, Nicholls reiterated.

“That is why we urge the government to review the roadmap and look to remove or reduce restrictions on trading – table service, online or takeaway only, no standing outdoors – at the earliest possible opportunity. It may also be possible to allow some limited indoor operations to resume at an earlier date,” she said. 

Earlier in the month, the government confirmed the automatic extension of pavement licences for a further 12 months to September 2022 as part of measures to support hospitality businesses in reopening safely.