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08th May 2024

Pubs to stay open later if England or Scotland reach Euro 2024 semi finals

Ryan Price

Even more of an incentive for either team to go all the way.

Pubs across the UK that are currently allowed to stay open until 11pm, have now been given to green light to extend their opening hours until 1am provided England or Scotland make it to the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the measure as a means of boosting the hospitality industry and encouraging the national mood ahead of the major sporting event, which kicks off in Munich on Friday 14th June.

Gareth Southgate’s side will be hoping to squash the bad memories still harboured from Euro 2020, when they lost narrowly to Italy during a penalty shootout in the final.

Steve Clarke’s Scotland team are very much underdogs going into the competition, following a gruelling qualifying journey. They’ll do well to make it through Group A, which also features Germany, Hungary and Switzerland.

Pubs saw Euro 2020, which took place in the summer of 2021, as a saving grace in the midst of Covid lockdowns.

(Image: Getty)

Mr Cleverly expressed his hope that this new incentive will have a similar effect on the nation’s public houses.

Speaking at the time of the announcement, he said: “We have listened to the public through our consultation and will be extending pub licensing hours should England or Scotland reach the semi-finals or final of Euro 2024.

“This boost to the hospitality sector will allow friends, families and communities to come together for longer to watch their nation hopefully bring it home.”

The plan will be introduced to parliament today to ensure there’s plenty of time to debate it ahead of the first game which takes place just over a month from now.

Unfortunately for Scotland fans, the law will only apply to businesses in England and Wales, so were Scotland to make it through to the semi-finals of the competition, members of the Tartan Army would have to venture south of the border to avail of the added two hours of celebration time.

Scottish licensing bodies act independently of UK legislation in cases like this, and there’s no indication yet as to whether or not they will follow suit.

The UK government has previously pushed back pub closing times for royal weddings, the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, the World Cup in 2014 and the last Euro final in 2022.

Calls for a similar move to mark England’s match against Spain in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final were rejected by ministers as it would have required recalling parliament.

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