World Cup opening hours decision reached

Overwhelming support

Over the last few months we have been covering the World Cup opening hours debate to keep you updated on the latest developments in the biggest sporting event of the year. We let you know how licensees could get their voice heard in the debate last month, details about the Prime Minister’s consideration of the issue and the opinions of key industry members.

Thanks to a big role played by the industry, licensees and customers all over the UK prompted a two-week public consultation from the Home Office on the extension, which has now come to a conclusion.


It has been announced that venues across the country will be allowed to stay open until 1am when England matches kick off at 8pm or later. This will allow the sale of alcohol and late night refreshment for consumption on the premises.

New opening times

This four hour relaxation will mean that venues can stay open in the event of any extra time and penalties.

Welcoming today’s decision on extra hours for pubs for England’s World Cup games, Brigid Simmonds, the chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“It’s really great news, which will put pubs at the heart of a great national event. I am particularly pleased that the Government has really listened, and made sure that common-sense prevailed, granting the full four hours after kick off for England games, as we had asked.’

“I’d like to thank the hundreds in the pub trade who responded, making our views loud and clear.”

The association, which has led efforts to secure extra hours for clubs since last autumn, says that the four-hour extension is needed, not just because there are group matches starting at 8pm, or later, but also to ensure a smooth dispersal from venues.

Safe exit

Another industry body, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)has also welcomed the move, which it says will save over &pound2m per England game by allowing fans to watch England’s matches in the pub.

There will be another benefit to the police and local communities, as by allowing the extended hours, especially after the final whistle, people will be able to leave the premises gradually after the match, minimising noise and annoyance to the public.

Temporary Event Notices

The relaxation will alleviate the need for thousands of licensees to apply for costly and time-consuming Temporary Event Notices.

This will save businesses all across the UK an estimated £2.5m per England game, protecting an industry that has been under considerable pressures in the tough economic climate.

World Cup England Fixtures

England’s World Cup group matches include:

England v Italy on Saturday, 14 June
England v Uruguay on Thursday 19 June
Costa Rica v England on Tuesday, 24 June.

Insuring your venue during the World Cup

Your business is sure to be enjoying increased footfall, so it’s even more important to be completely covered by your policy. Claims from customers and staff can happen, so keeping your venue safe by having comprehensive coverage from a trusted broker is paramount. To speak to one of our experienced staff about getting the best possible policy for your establishment, phone us on 0344 488 9204 or use our contact form.