News story

Extension of pub opening hours for the 75th anniversary of VE Day

The Home Secretary has announced plans to extend pub licensing hours across England and Wales to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

A bartender pulling a pint

The Home Secretary has today announced plans to extend pub licensing hours across England and Wales to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Under the proposals, pubs, clubs and bars which are licensed to trade until 11pm could be allowed to open until 1am on both Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May 2020.

The news follows the government’s decision to move the early May bank holiday in 2020 from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to make the 75th anniversary of VE Day a public holiday.

The occasion will see celebrations and community events across the country to remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied Armed Forces personnel and all those citizens who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the home front.

Government plans for VE Day 75, which will be announced in due course, will look to evoke the spirit and significance of this year’s D-Day 75 tributes which saw large-scale events with veterans at the heart of commemorations.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

VE Day is a landmark day in our history. Extending licensing hours will pave the way for commemorative events across the UK, so we can pay tribute to the courage and determination of the millions who fought for our freedom or supported the war effort at home.

The extension of pub opening hours will be subject to a short consultation with partners including the police, licensing authorities, industry, community groups and veterans organisations.

Past national occasions where the government has extended licensing hours have included the Royal Wedding in 2018, the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, the 2014 World Cup, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Royal Wedding in 2011.

Published 25 October 2019