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Home > News > Changes to bank holidays and opening hours – licensing advice for pubs, clubs and bars

Changes to bank holidays and opening hours – licensing advice for pubs, clubs and bars

20 February 2020 | Melissa Toney

The Early May bank holiday has been moved from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe Day. The Home Secretary has announced that Pubs, Clubs and Bars in England and Wales that are licensed to trade until 11pm will be able to serve for an additional 2 hours on both Friday 8th May and Saturday 9th May.

The order was made in parliament on the 12th February 2020 and will apply to all venues licensed to provide entertainment; ie music, dance, play and films. The decision follows a consultation with partners including representatives of licensing authorities, the police, the licensed trade, community groups, veterans’ organisations and the Welsh Government.

What does this mean?

Pubs with a licence to stay open until 11pm will see their hours extended to 1am on both the Friday and Saturday evenings. This is great news for operators, as you won’t have to apply for an extension of your licensing hours.

However, if you wish to trade beyond 1am, you will have to apply to extend your licensing hours with a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).

It is not yet clear whether this will also cover ‘late-night refreshment’ i.e. the ability to sell hot food past 11pm so we will be keeping an eye on any announcements.

Please also note this does not apply for the Spring bank holiday which is also earlier than normal this year on the 25th May 2020.

What should you do next?

It’s important to check your licence conditions. If you have any event planned for either weekends and need to apply for a TEN it is worth doing this sooner rather than later as usually Local Authorities are inundated with applications and often there can be a substantial delay in processing.

If you wish to discuss such applications, check your licences or any issues regarding existing licences please contact Melissa Toney for advice. Call 0117 9069400 or email

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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