Pubs could stay open until 1am during EURO 2024
The government has set out plans to extend licensing hours for the semi-finals and final of EURO 2024.
The government has set out plans to extend licensing hours for the semi-finals and final of the men’s EURO 2024 championships next year, should England, Wales or Scotland reach the final stages of the tournament.
In a public consultation, the government has proposed that pub licensing hours in England and Wales should be extended from 11pm to 1am if any of the UK nations remaining in the tournament reach the latter two rounds in Germany, where EURO 2024 is being held.
The home secretary has the power to extend licensing hours for occasions of exceptional international, national or local significance.
"There are few things that bring a country together more than the prospect of winning an international tournament," says home secretary James Cleverly. "England and Scotland are on their way to Germany, and Wales are still in with a shot of qualifying, so it is only right we put in place plans to support them and our hospitality industry.
"The plans, which will be subject to public consultation, would provide a welcome boost for the hospitality industry and clarity for pubs and bars. This is part of a series of recent government measures to boost the hospitality industry and make sure pubs and bars have the support they need to thrive, including the continuation of relaxed licensing regulations that allow pubs, restaurants and bars to sell takeaway pints without red tape holding them back."
The public consultation will run for 12 weeks with the government to take into account the views from the public, licensing authorities and hospitality industry.
"EURO 2024 is set to be a huge event for hospitality businesses next summer, as fans pack pubs and bars to cheers on the home nations," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. "We support the Home Office proposals to extend licensing hours for the semi-finals and final, should we reach that stage of the tournament. Major sporting events provide a huge revenue boosts and extended hours are essential to allow venues and fans to take full advantage.
"This sort of advance planning benefits fans, businesses and the government, and is exactly the type of approach we have been advocating for in our engagement on this issue for many years. I’m pleased the Home Office is consulting well in advance, acting on our calls on behalf of the sector."