Britain's hospitality industry sets legal challenge to lockdown restrictions

Oct 12 (Reuters) - The United Kingdom’s hospitality industry is mounting a legal challenge to the government’s lockdown restrictions, aiming to stop its plans to close pubs and other venues to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), a UK trade body, told Reuters late Sunday that the industry has taken legal action to prevent lockdown measures from being imposed.

The judicial review, reported earlier by the Financial Times, will argue that no evidence supports hospitality venues having contributed to the spread of COVID-19.

“The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England,” NTIA CEO Michael Kill said in an email.

“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package,” the statement read.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out new measures to try to contain a growing coronavirus crisis on Monday, outlining three new alert levels to better coordinate the government’s response.

Northern England has been particularly hard hit by a new surge in coronavirus cases that has forced local lockdowns as students returned to schools and universities across Britain.

On Monday, Johnson will hold a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee and then address parliament, offering lawmakers a vote later in the week on the measures.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Sucharita Ganguly. Editing by Gerry Doyle