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Restaurateur engages in legal action against Welsh gov over reopening plans

The restaurant owner has hired law firm JMW Solicitors, which is also handling Sacha Lord's legal case, to launch a judicial review against the Welsh government’s rules on indoor hospitality

The owner of the Sticky Fingers Street Food restaurant, Matt Connolly, has engaged in a legal challenge against the Welsh government over its failure to set out an opening date for indoor hospitality.

The restaurant owner has hired law firm JMW Solicitors, which is also handling Sacha Lord’s legal case, to launch a judicial review against the Welsh government’s rules on indoor hospitality.

Connolly is asking the Welsh government for a clear date for indoor hospitality to open and seeking an opening date of 12 April in line with non-essential retail businesses.

Connolly said: “The failure to provide any clarity for the opening of indoor hospitality is a massive blow to the industry – we can’t plan without a date to work toward.

“We believe we should be permitted to open our doors again from 12 April in line with non-essential retail. If that isn’t possible, at lea”st let us see the evidence used to make that decision – thousands of livelihoods are at stake.”

In a letter sent to the Welsh government, he points out the contrast with the approach taken by the government in Westminster, which has provided a clear roadmap for outdoor hospitality to reopen from 12 April and indoor hospitality to reopen from 17 May 2021.

Oliver Wright, partner at JMW, added: “It would be commercially and economically unfeasible for many hospitality businesses to open and attempt to operate on an outdoor basis.

“The failure by the Welsh government to provide a clear date is creating more uncertainty for one of the hardest hit sectors. They need to know when staff will be removed from furlough and when rotas can be reintroduced; when to start ordering stock and when they can start taking bookings again.”

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