The owner of London nightclub G-A-Y has threatened the Government with legal action over its 10pm curfew on the hospitality sector.
Jordan Joseph, owner and chief executive of the G-A-Y group, said the curfew made “absolutely no sense” and did “the opposite of protecting people”.
G-A-Y operates venues in London and Manchester and the nightclub Heaven in Charing Cross.
Boris Johnson imposed a 10pm curfew on all hospitality outlets from Sept 24 as part of a new set of restrictions to try to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The rules have angered pubs and restaurants, which are already struggling with poor sales just weeks after emerging from months of closure. Data published last week revealed that sales at pubs, bars and restaurants plunged by more than a third on the Friday after the curfew was introduced, compared with a year earlier.
Mr Joseph is now planning to pursue a potential judicial review of the curfew and has written to health secretary Matt Hancock demanding an explanation for the scientific logic behind the rule.
He added that the curfew was “unsafe” as it forced people out of venues at the same time, causing overcrowding on the streets and public transport.
Mr Joseph said: “This Government has failed to show why the 10pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation.
“It seems to direct the blame for this action on the sector, consistently treating the nighttime economy as a scapegoat when, in fact, we have years of operational experience of keeping customers safe, and have spent substantial time and effort making sure our venues are Covid secure.
“Enough is enough. Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have to be made accountable.”
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said the curfew had been “catastrophic” for businesses and forced thousands of firms to shut or make staff redundant.
A government spokesman said: "Our measures strike a balance between saving lives by protecting our NHS and the most vulnerable and minimising the wider impact on the economy and schools.
"The latest data suggests a considerable rise in the infection rate following people socialising in hospitality venues serving alcohol in recent weeks, so we have taken immediate action to cut the transmission rate and save lives and will keep all measures under constant review.
"The 10pm closure allows people to continue to socialise while reducing the risk of failing to socially distance."