Pubs will open for a few extra hours to celebrate 75th anniversary of VE Day

25 October 2019, 16:09

Pubs will stay open longer to celebrate VE Day next year
Pubs will stay open longer to celebrate VE Day next year. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Last orders will come a few hours later next Early May Bank Holiday to celebrate the Allied victory in WWII, under plans announced by the Home Secretary.

Pubs, clubs and bars usually licensed to stay open until 11pm will be able to trade until 1am on both Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May, 2020.

Next year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, when Allied Forces officially defeated Hitler and the Nazis.

It comes after the Government moved next year's early May bank holiday from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the anniversary with a public holiday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the plans, saying "VE Day is a landmark day in our history."

She added: "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."

The Home Secretary announced the plans to mark the 75th anniversary
The Home Secretary announced the plans to mark the 75th anniversary. Picture: PA

Police, licensing authorities and veterans organisations will be consulted with prior to the extension.

It is not the first time licensing hours have been prolonged in the UK.

Both the 2011 and 2018 royal weddings, the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Queen's 90th birthday in 2016 and the 2014 Football World Cup all allowed venues to stay open for longer.

There will be celebrations up and down the country to remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces and all those who contributed to the war effort.

The Home Office will announce plans for VEDay75 in due course and will hope to capture the "spirit and significance" of this year's D-Day75 tributes, which saw large celebrations centred around veterans.

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