Extended pub opening hours proposed for VE Day anniversary bank holiday

Bank holiday pub-goers will be able to enjoy a few extra hours until last orders under plans announced by the Home Secretary to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

The proposals would allow pubs, clubs and bars which are licensed to trade until 11pm to open until 1am on both Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9 2020.

It comes after the Government decided to move the early May bank holiday next year from Monday May 4 to Friday May 8, to mark the anniversary with a public holiday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “VE Day is a landmark day in our history. Extending licensing hours will pave the way for commemorative events across the UK, so we can pay tribute to the courage and determination of the millions who fought for our freedom or supported the war effort at home.”

VE-Day Celebration
VE-Day Celebration

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

Previous national occasions during which licensing hours have been extended have included the royal weddings in 2011 and 2018, the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the 2014 World Cup and the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016.

VE Day will see celebrations across the country to remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces and all those who contributed to the war effort.

According to the Home Office, official government plans for VEDay75 will be announced in due course and will hope to capture the “spirit and significance” of this year’s D-Day75 tributes, which saw large celebrations that centred around veterans.