World Cup 2014 update: pubs can now open later for England matches

World Cup 2014 update: pubs can now open later for England matches

The government has announced today that England playing in the World Cup is an occasion of exceptional national significance. So it has decided to proceed with the proposal to relax licensing hours in England for England’s World Cup matches.

The relaxation will apply in England during England's matches in the 2014 World Cup with a scheduled kick off time of 8pm or later. It will be for the sale of alcohol and late night refreshment for consumption on the premises. The relaxation will last four hours, to a latest time of 1am. This length of time covers any extra time and penalties. It will also mean customers are likely to leave premises gradually after the match, minimising any nuisance to the public.

The extensions will be made under section 172 of the 2003 Licensing Act. The Secretary of State can make an order relaxing licensing hours for licensed premises in relation to a ‘celebration period’. This is to mark an occasion of ‘exceptional international, national or local significance’. Since the introduction of the 2003 Act, this national power has been used to mark the Royal Wedding in 2011 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. But this is the first time such a power has been used for a sports tournament.

This means that operators of premises with licences permitting the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises will automatically be able to remain open on those dates to allow fans to watch the football without the need to apply for TENs.

Need advice? We can help you

To find out more about how this might affect you 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 many high street names in the leisure and retail industries. These include 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. He ranks 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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