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Pubs to stay open late if England or Scotland reach the euros semi finals Published Date: 08/05/2024

Opening hours in England and Wales will be extended to 1am on the days of the matches in a boost to the hospitality industry.

Pubs will be able to stay open for an extra two hours this summer, should England and/or Scotland reach the semi-finals or the final of the 2024 UEFA European Football Championships.

Last November, the government launched a 12-week public consultation to propose pub licensing hours in England and Wales be extended to 1am if any of the UK nations remaining in the tournament reach the latter two rounds in Germany.

As both England and Scotland have successfully qualified for the tournament, the Home Secretary has agreed to extend licencing hours should one - or both - of the teams reach the semi-finals or the final. In the role, he has the legislative power to extend these hours on occasions of “exceptional international, national or local significance”.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said:

“Over the coming weeks we will all be getting ready to support our home nations in what will be a busy summer of sport and a proud moment for Britain.

“We have listened to the public through our consultation and will be extending pub licensing hours should England and/or Scotland reach the semi-finals or final of Euro 2024.

“This boost to the hospitality sector will allow friends, families and communities to come together for longer to watch their nation hopefully bring it home.”

The move is set to be a welcomed boost to the hospitality industry and will allow fans to come together to support the home nations during this exciting tournament.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“With the Euros fast approaching, for many people there can be no better place to cheer on their team than with a refreshing beer at their local pub.

“It’s great news that the Government has anticipated the likely interest from pubs to keep their doors open a little longer for the semi-finals and finals during the European Championships.  By creating this easement and cutting red tape, doing business will be that much easier. 

“The beer and pub sector is set for a bumper summer of sport, so let’s hope that England and Scotland make it not just through to the semi-finals but meet in the final itself, with pub goers able to cheer the teams on with a beer later into the night thanks to these new measures.”

UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:

“Euro 2024 is set to be a huge event for hospitality businesses this summer, as fans pack pubs and bars to cheer on the home nations.

“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 boost and extended hours are essential to allow venues and fans to take full advantage.”

The legislation will be laid in Parliament today (Wednesday 8 May) to ensure there is enough time for it to be debated and passed before the tournament begins. The semi-finals are currently scheduled to take place on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 July and the final on Sunday 14 July.