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Pubs granted extended opening hours for VE day celebrations
12 February 2020, 18:31
Pubs, clubs and cinemas will be able to stay open into the early hours to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Home Secretary has confirmed.
Victory in Europe (VE) Day on May 8 1945 marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender by Britain and its Allies following almost six years of brutal warfare during the Second World War.
The Government had already announced that the traditional early May bank holiday will be moved from Monday May 4 to Friday May 8 to mark the significant VE Day anniversary.
And now it has been confirmed those commemorating will get an additional two hours of entertainment and drinking time.
Home Secretary Priti Patel will lay an order before Parliament to formally extend licence hours on the day, following her initial announcement in October.
Pubs, clubs and bars that are licensed to trade until 11pm will get a top-up of an extra two hours to take them into Saturday morning, the Home Office said.
"VE Day events across the country will see the nation come together to pay tribute to the heroes who fought for our freedom and supported the war effort at home," said Ms Patel.
"Pubs are at the heart of our communities and this is a great opportunity to raise a glass to mark this historic occasion."
Entertainment venues currently with an 11pm curfew, which the Home Office said would include premises licensed to host music, dances, plays and films, will be permitted to stay open until 1am on Saturday May 9.
The Government first made the announcement in October and Ms Patel on Wednesday confirmed a motion enacting the additional licensing hours will be put before MPs and peers.
The Home Office said the decision to extend pub opening hours followed a consultation with representatives of licensing authorities, the police, the pub trade, community groups, veterans' organisations and the Welsh Government.
Past national occasions where governments have extended licensing hours have included the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
The loosening of licensing stipulations is just one of the many ways the country will mark VE Day.
Commemorations and community events are expected to be held across the country to remember the efforts of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel in bringing a close to the war, along with the contribution of ordinary citizens to the war effort.