The government has announced plans to allow pubs to open their doors for longer ahead of next year's VE Day 75 celebrations.

 

 

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and UK Hospitality have welcomed the news. It means 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, when VE Day 75 takes place.

Friday 8 May will also be a public holiday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, after the government decided to move the early May bank holiday from Monday, May 4.

The announcement from the Home Office follows previous national occasions when pub hours were extended including the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the most recent football World Cup, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs at the BBPA said: "In 1945, VE Day would have been celebrated in pubs up and down the country. VE Day 75 will be a wonderful opportunity for the nation to commemorate and celebrate the occasion in the great British pub.

"It is wonderful news that licensing hours for pubs are being extended as part of this special weekend. It will be greatly welcomed by people looking to celebrate the occasion and remember those who gave so much during the war."

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality Chief Executive, 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.

This will be a moment of national significance and extending licensing hours will allow pubs to play their part."

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