Royal Wedding Weekend – Government announces extended licensing hours in pubs

Richard Taylor, 12th March, 2018

The government recently consulted upon a relaxation of licensing hours for the weekend of the royal wedding and announced the results of that consultation last week.

Licensing hours can be extended by an order where the Secretary of State considers an event or an occasion to be of “exceptional international, national or local significance.”

The government consider the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle to be such an occasion and has decided to proceed with a relaxation of licensing hours for that weekend.

Pubs in England and Wales will be allowed to open for an extra two hours for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises, from:

  • 11pm on Friday 18 May to 1am on Saturday 19 May

  • 11pm on Saturday 19 May to 1am on Sunday 20 May

Please note, this relaxation applies only to premises in England and Wales whose licences permit the sale of alcohol on the premises.

Update (9 April 2018)

The draft order (Licensing Act 2003 (Royal Wedding Licensing Hours) Order 2018) has now been published and operators need to be aware of the following points:

  • The extension period of 11pm to 1am on 18th and 19th May extends the hours for alcohol sales (for consumption on the premises only) and late night refreshment.

  • If an operator wishes to have entertainment in the extended period and the premises licence does not provide for this then this can be done by Temporary Event Notice.

  • As the order extends the hours for alcohol sales for consumption on the premises, then unless a beer garden is shown on the premises licence plan as an area where alcohol sales may take place (i.e. within the licensed area) then alcohol cannot be sold for consumption in the beer garden for the extended period (unless a TEN is given to permit this).

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