Search icon


08th Jul 2024

Pubs granted ‘special rule break’ to stay open later for England vs Netherlands

Zoe Hodges

Will fans be commiserating or celebrating?

Pubs are allowed to break the rules on Wednesday night when England face the Netherlands in the semi-final of the Euros.

The game doesn’t kick off until 8pm UK time and with England’s round of 16 game going to extra-time and the quarter-final going one step further to penalties, there’s a high probability that this game also may go the distance.

Many locals shut early mid-week and many may be worried that pubs may close before the final whistle blows but a ‘special rule break’ will allow them to stay open longer.

Whether fans are commiserating or celebrating pubs will be allowed to stay open until 1am.

It’s thanks to outgoing Home Secretary James Cleverly who made the announcement back in May. He has now been replaced by Yvette Cooper following the General Election.

Cleverly promised that licensing rules would be relaxed in venues across the UK if England or Scotland reached the semi-finals of the competition.

At the time, 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.”

He added that he hoped the rule change would ‘allow friends, families and communities to come together for longer to watch their nation hopefully bring it home.’

Under section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003, the Home Secretary is allowed to relax licensing hours to mark occasions of ‘exceptional national significance’.

Though it’s good news for England fans who are unable to travel to Germany to see their team play, it is great news for the hospitality industry that has been hit hard in recent years.

Many pubs never recovered after the Coronavirus pandemic and approximately 800 establishments entered insolvency in 2023, the highest number in over a decade.