VE Day opening hours extension confirmed

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Joint consultation: the decision was made by a variety of groups including veterans and licensing authorities
Joint consultation: the decision was made by a variety of groups including veterans and licensing authorities

Related tags Licensing Opening Pubs

Pubs in England and Wales that are licensed to trade until 11pm will be able to serve for an additional two hours on Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May from 11am until 1am the following morning to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, the Government has announced.

The order, which was made in parliament yesterday (12 February) will also apply to venues licensed to provide entertainment such as music, dance, plays and films, and means operators won’t have to apply for an extension to their licensing hours.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “VE Day events across the country will see the nation come together to pay tribute to the heroes who fought for our freedom and supported the war effort at home.

“Pubs are at the heart of our communities and this is a great opportunity to raise a glass to mark this historic occasion.”

Group discussions

The decision followed a consultation with partners, including representative of licensing authorities, the police, the licensed trade, community groups, veterans’ organisations and the Welsh government.

The plans to extend pub licensing hours was announced in October​ and, at that time, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the extension and called the anniversary a historic moment for the country.

She said: “People will want to mark the occasion in all sorts of ways and pubs are often the focal point for community celebrations and acts of commemoration.

“This will be a moment of national significance and extending licensing hours will allow pubs to play their part."

Greatly welcomed

British Beer & Pub Association director of public affairs David Wilson hailed the celebration as a “wonderful opportunity for the nation to commemorate and celebrate the occasion in a pub”.

He added: “It is wonderful news that licensing hours for pubs are being extended as part of this special weekend.

“It will be greatly welcomed by people looking to celebrate the occasion and remember those who gave us so much during the war.”

Related topics Licensing law

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