The announcement from UKH was in response to a Government consultation document on extending drinking times after the trade association has led calls for licensing hours to be extended during the specially lengthened Bank Holiday, from 2 to 5 June, to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years as monarch since last summer.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We welcome Government proposals that recognise the role that licensed premises will play in the celebrations.
“As Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee is a rare and special event that millions of people across the UK will want to celebrate, and it will be extra-special for thousands of hospitality businesses hit by Covid-19, because it affords them a wonderful opportunity to recoup some of their pandemic losses.
“We’re therefore urging the Home Office to go ahead with plans to extend licensing hours in England and Wales to 1am on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the four-day Bank Holiday weekend.
“That vital extra trading time for venues will make an enormous difference and go some way to helping them recover from the devastating effects of coronavirus.”
In order to give operators time to fully prepare for the event, UKH has urged the Government to push through extended licensing hours as quickly as possible.
To do this, the Government has proposed a Licensing Hours Order under S172 of the Licensing Act 2003 to extend opening hours from 11pm to 1am from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June, for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises and the provision of regulated entertainment in licensed premises in England and Wales.
The Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday will feature several key events: Thursday, The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour), Friday, St Paul's Cathedral Service of Thanksgiving, Saturday, the Derby at Epsom Downs and Sunday, the Big Jubilee Lunch street parties, and other gatherings across the UK.
Other royal celebrations which have previously seen longer licensing hours in England and Wales include the Royal Wedding in 2011, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and the Queen’s 90th Birthday in 2016.
Nicholls added: “The extension could also give the tourism industry a significant boost, with people from across the world travelling to the UK to join in the celebrations and the Government should be looking to invest and support the sector in this year of recovery, with measures including keeping VAT at 12.5% for hospitality and tourism beyond April.”