Hospitality bodies launch legal action against Scottish Government

Five Scottish hospitality bodies have commenced the process of legal action in opposition to the latest restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association, UKHospitality (Scotland), the Scottish Hospitality Group and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland have come together to publicise their concerns over regulations they believe are “not proportionate and are not evidence based”.

Paul Waterson, spokesman for the group, said in a pre-action letter to the Scottish Government: “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.”

The group called for a response by 4pm Wednesday 28 October, hoping to gain insight into the evidence used to support the restrictions.

Waterson added: “Evidence just published in Northern Ireland clearly states that the closure of hospitality only has an “0.1-0.2 impact on the R number” and that the lockdown there has been brought about to ensure behavioural and policy compliance in other areas. Effectively confirming that the hospitality industry has been held up as the sacrificial lamb.

“The economic support offered to premises doesn’t come close to compensating the businesses and means jobs are being lost and livelihoods ruined. Any measures must be proportionate and be backed up by evidence, we do not believe that is the case here.”

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