The owner of historic Charing Cross nightclub G-A-Y has also filed suit against the government over the new 10 PM curfew.
Aimed at hospitality and creative industries, the expansion will involve the government covering 67 percent of employees' wages (up to £2,100 per employee per month) for businesses that are forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, BBC reports. The government will also offer temporarily closed business up to £3,000 a month in grants. This is in addition to the already announced measures in which the government will cover 22 percent of wages for workers who fulfil one-third of their contracted hours. The winter scheme will replace the furlough and self-employed schemes on November 1st and will last for six months.
"We believe that this has not gone far enough to safeguard our sector," Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) head Michael Kill said in a statement. "Considerable concerns remain over the future of the nighttime economy, with many businesses and staff concerned about how they will survive this autumn and winter. We tentatively welcome the extension of the job support scheme to pay two-thirds of each employee's salary for businesses closed by government restrictions, which will help members who have invested tens of thousands into repurposing and making their venues COVID-secure only to face closure once again. However, we will need further clarity on the details of the scheme and which businesses are eligible, given thousands of nighttime economy businesses have been unable to open or operate for seven months now due to government restrictions."
Additional figures in the live music industry have voiced disappointment with the expansion—read the full report on IQ.
Before the announced additional measures, Sunak and the new jobs support scheme have been met with considerable criticism due to the focus on saving what Sunak calls "viable jobs," alienating hospitality, nightlife and other creative businesses that have been forced to remain shut or drastically change in order to reopen. The #WeAreViable campaign is a direct response to Sunak's comments, and the #LetUsDance campaign's petition rocketed to more than 138,000 signatures from increased momentum following the winter scheme's initial announcement.
Earlier this week, Sunak gave an interview with ITV in which he suggested that artists and musicians should retrain to find new jobs in the pandemic, further angering the arts and nightlife communities. Sherelle appeared on BBC Newsnight to condemn Sunak's interview.
After the UK government recently introduced a 10 PM curfew, Jeremy Joseph, the owner of London and Manchester nightclubs G-A-Y, along with the NTIA filed suit against the government this week asking for scientific justifications to the measure. "The government 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," Joseph said.
Today, Joseph and the NTIA confirmed the government has "failed to give any evidence to support the 10 PM curfew" and his and their lawyers will be continuing with a judicial review.
Read Joseph's full statement.
G-A-Y Statement— Jeremy Joseph G-A-Y (@JeremyJoseph) October 9, 2020
Our Lawyers Have Proceeded with The Judicial Review as The Government has failed to give any evidence to support the 10pm curfew & we must protect hospitality
Full statement included #CancelTheCurfew #weareviable @wearethentia @kirstymcshannon pic.twitter.com/WrKbQvzsOR