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Pub opening hours extended for the 75th anniversary of VE Day

12 February 2020 by

Pub drinking hours in England and Wales are to be extended for two hours on the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day on Friday 8 May.

Licensed premises - including pubs, clubs, bars and entertainment venues - which are licensed to trade until 11pm will be allowed to remain open until 1pm on Saturday 9 May.

The early May bank holiday has been moved from Monday 4 May to 8 May to mark the anniversary, which will be marked nationwide by commemorations and community events.

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."

UKHospitality welcomed the extension of licensing hours on 8 May.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: "The 75th anniversary of VE Day will be an historic moment for the country. 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.

"An extension of licensing hours will allow pubs to stay open longer without the hassle of applying for a Temporary Event Notice. With margins for many pubs currently being squeezed, this is a very welcome step by the Government."

Recent national occasions where the government has extended licensing hours have included the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

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