Pubs can extend their opening hours if England make it to the Euro 2024 semi-finals

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Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 8th May 2024

Pubs are to be permitted to extend their opening hours if England make it through to the semi-finals of EURO 2024 this summer.

With the Premier League, and the English and Scottish football leagues, all drawing to a close over the next couple of weeks, our nations are already looking ahead to what is gearing up to be a massive summer of sport – with both the UEFA EURO 2024, and the 2024 Olympics coming up before August is out.

And now, it’s been revealed by Home Secretary James Cleverly that if either England or Scotland’s mens national football teams make it to the semi-final of European football’s flagship tournament, then pubs will be allowed to stay open for longer.

But, there’s a bit of a catch… because isn’t there always?

The Government has said that venues will be allowed to stay open for an extra two hours on match days if either or both teams reach the last four or the final of the competition, but this only applies to pubs that already have a license to open until 11pm anyway.


The move to extend opening hours comes after a consultation at the end of last year, and is hoped to provide a boost to the hospitality industry – which has notably been hit hard during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The Home Secretaries in England and Wales, under Section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003, can make an order relaxing licensing hours to mark occasions of “exceptional national significance”, but the Scottish and Northern Irish Governments have to set their own rules.


“We have listened to the public through our consultation,” explained Home Secretary James Cleverley, “and we will be extending pub licensing hours should England or Scotland reach the semi-finals or final of Euro 2024.”

The EURO 2024 semi-finals are to be held on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 July / Credit: UEFA

Mr Cleverley said the move will “allow friends, families and communities to come together for longer to watch their nation hopefully bring it home”.

This legislation is set to be laid in Parliament today (Wednesday 8 May) to ensure there is enough time for it to be debated and passed before the tournament begins on Friday 14 June, the Government has confirmed.


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The EURO 2024 semi-finals are to be held on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 July, with the final taking place on Sunday 14 July.

Featured Image – Louis Hansel (via Unsplash)