Matt Hancock summoned to High Court to justify reopening priorities

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was summoned to the High Court to explain why he was allowing unnecessary shops to open in front of pubs and restaurants.

The lawsuit was brought by Pizza Express founder Hugh Osmond and nightclub operator Sacha Lord, reports The Sunday Telegraph.

The paper said it saw documents from the High Court showing that the two businessmen are “contesting health (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) regulations in 2021 to the extent that those regulations.” provide that non-essential retail establishments reopen before indoor hospitality “.

Mr Justice Swift has ordered the Minister of Health “to submit and deliver his response to the application by 10am Tuesday, April 6th”.

Shops, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and outdoor restaurants such as beer gardens may reopen from April 12th at the earliest.

However, indoor hospitality and entertainment venues, as well as the rest of the lodging sector, won’t be able to open their doors until May 17th.

Mr Osmond writes on the Telegraph: “The government has left us no choice but to take them to justice. This is a really urgent matter affecting the lives of millions of people who just can’t wait. “

Boris Johnson is expected to come up with plans on Monday to develop a “Covid Status Certification” system to enable the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events as lockdown restrictions in England ease.

Officials are planning a series of trial events over the coming months to find a way how venues like soccer fields and nightclubs can reopen without the need for social distancing.


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