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Government announces consultation on later pub opening hours to celebrate Royal Wedding

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The UK Government have issued a four-week public consultation on whether to relax licensing hours across England and Wales to mark the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018.

The Government proposes to make a licensing hours order under Section 172 of the Licensing Act which would extend opening hours to 01:00 am on Saturday 19 May (the Friday into Saturday) and Sunday 20 May 2018 (the Saturday into Sunday) for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises in licensed premises, to the extent that it is not already the case.

This would also relate to the provision of late night refreshment in on-trade licensed premises but it would not apply to the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises (i.e. in supermarkets and off-licences). The extension does not include regulated entertainment and should the relaxation in hours be given the go-ahead by the Government then any premises would need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice if they wish to extend their hours for entertainment such as a live band to celebrate the occasion.

This could definitely be valuable to pubs and bars as the Royal Wedding coincides with the FA Cup Final taking place on Saturday 19 May. The Home Office comments that “there have been no reports of increased football-related disorder as a result of the previous extensions to licensing hours for the weekend of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, which coincided with two Euro 2016 matches involving England and Wales, and the extension of licensing hours during the World Cup 2014.”

The public consultation is now live until Sunday 4 February and the Government want to hear from people who may be affected by the relaxation of licensing hours including the public, those who own or work in on-trade premises, the police and trade associations.

The consultation paper can be downloaded from this link – Royal Wedding Licensing Hours Extension Consultation for gov.uk – and responses may be sent:

  • By email to: alcoholteam2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
  • Online via a questionnaire accessible here
  • By post to: Licensing Hours Consultation, Alcohol Team, 5th Floor, Fry Building, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, SW10 4DF

We shall keep you updated on this and provide you with the Government’s response following the end of the consultation period.

Any arrangement in Scotland for a relaxation of licensing hours will be a matter for the Scottish government.

If you require any further information on this or any other licensing issues, please contact Andrew Cochrane, Senior Partner & Head of Licensing on 01332 226142 or email andrew.cochrane@flintbishop.co.uk

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