Pubs could open until 1am for England’s World Cup matches following Home Office consultation

Pubs could open until 1am for England’s World Cup matches following Home Office consultation

Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced a Government consultation to decide whether or not to relax licensing hours during England’s FIFA World Cup 2014 matches.

The two-week consultation comes after David Cameron ordered a rethink on the Home Office’s original decision to turn down an application from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) for a national licencing extension.

The consultation will decide whether to put in place a national relaxation of licensing hours for all England matches during the World Cup in June and July 2014 (this includes all England matches with a kick-off of 8pm or later.) Or whether to leave it as a local decision using the Temporary Event Notice (TEN) system.

If approved, the national relaxation would allow pubs and other on-trade premises to sell alcohol and late-night refreshment to people watching England’s matches live. Opening hours will be relaxed up to, and no later than, 1am for all of England’s matches, including their opening game against Italy, which kicks off at 11pm. Regulated entertainment will not be extended.

Theresa May has suggested some reservations about the possible impacts of the proposed policy on public order, as she explains: “The Government is mindful of the need to strike a balance between the risks that late-night drinking can lead to increased crime and disorder and public nuisance and reducing the burden on those wishing to celebrate the FIFA World Cup.

“The consultation is therefore considering a number of issues, including the principle of relaxing licensing hours nationally during the World Cup, the dates and geographical extent that any licensing hours order may cover.”

The consultation runs from 13th to 26th March and is asking for your views on the matter. You can find out more about the consultation and how to respond here.

Need advice? We can help you

To find out more about how you might be affected or the options open to you, please call Richard Taylor today on 01482 324252 or email

As one of the UK's leading Licensing Law practices, Gosschalks has a long history of acting for a number of high street names in the leisure and retail industries, including pubs, nightclubs, supermarkets, cinemas, health clubs, betting offices and convenience stores – you can find out more about that here.

Richard Taylor is a partner within our licensing team and has for many years been ranked in the highest band of licensing solicitors in the UK in both the Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.

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