Pubs have been given a boost ahead of the World Cup with licensing laws being relaxed so all games can be shown to their conclusion.

The government today announced that licensing laws would be relaxed across the country for four hours to a latest time of 1am. This covers the conclusion of all matches, including extra time and the inevitable penalty shoot-outs.

Any venues that are not currently licensed to open any later than 1am and wish to do so can apply for a Temporary Events Notice.

The move was welcomed by trade bodies who estimate it will save millions in admin and could help generate an extra £20m for pubs and bars.

Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, said: "This is a great result for the industry which will ensure that football fans can enjoy the excitement of the World Cup in the enjoyable atmosphere of the pub.

"The relaxation will alleviate the need for thousands of pubs and bars to apply for costly and time-consuming Temporary Event Notices, saving the industry and local authorities around £2,500,000 per England game and will ensure a much welcome boost in trade.

The British Beer & Pub Association's Brigid Simmonds added: "It's really great news, which will put pubs at the heart of a great national event. I am particularly pleased that the Government has really listened, and made sure that common sense prevailed, granting the full four hours after kick off for England games, as we had asked."

More than 1,400 people responded to a government consultation on the issue, with 84 per cent of the public saying there were in favour of a blanket licence extension.

In the response the government said that: "England playing in the World Cup is an occasion of exceptional national significance. Many people will wish to enjoy watching the matches in pubs and bars and experience the atmosphere of the occasion with fellow football fans, as demonstrated by the enthusiasm of the majority of those who responded to the consultation."