Jeremy Joseph, owner of the G-A-Y nightclub and pub group, said he will seek a judicial review of the 10pm national curfew on hospitality venues if the restriction is not dropped.

Joseph has instructed Kings Chambers & Simpson Miller to challenge the curfew, and has engaged leading barristers including Sam Karim QC, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides, along with Dan Rosenberg of Simpson Miller Solicitors.

Joseph’s legal challenge of the latest round of coronavirus restrictions is supported by Kirsty McShannon of Azorra Ltd, legal advisor to G-A-Y.

The curfew, which has had a significant impact on pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues across the country, has been in place since 24 September.

The legal team has written to the secretary of state, Matt Hancock, with a formal challenge to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 as amended on 24 September to include the 10pm curfew.

Joseph said the 10pm curfew makes no sense: “It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them onto the street at the same time. They are going from being safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport.

“This Government has failed to show why the 10.00pm 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 night time 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.”