World Cup 2014 licensing relaxation and other considerations

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World Cup 2014 licensing relaxation and other considerations

02 Jun 2014

The government has announced a relaxation to licensing hours in England (with Wales being dealt with differently) during the World Cup 2014.  The relaxation will apply only to England matches with a scheduled kick-off time of 8pm or later, and will be limited to the sale of alcohol and provision of late night refreshment for consumption on the premises only. The relaxation will last for up to four hours, to a latest time of 1am. This will cover any extra time and penalties, should England progress, as there are no late kick-offs during the knock-out stages.

The practical effect of the relaxation is as follows:

  • For the England v Italy game on 14th June 2014, which has an 11pm kick-off, premises will be permitted to sell alcohol and provide late night refreshment for consumption on the premises until 1am
  • For the Uruguay v England match on 19th June 2014, which has an 8pm kick-off, this will be permitted until midnight
  • For the Costa Rica v England match on 24th June 2014, which has a 5pm kick-off, normal Premises Licence hours will apply

Should England progress to the knockout stages, kick-off times are either 5pm, in which case normal Premises Licence hours will apply, or 9pm, in which case the relaxation will extend to the latest time of 1am.

Despite the relaxation, please remember that the other elements of your Premises Licence will still apply and that all conditions must still be complied with. You must also ensure that operation of the later hours under the relaxation is not a breach of your planning restrictions.

If you find that you wish to dis-apply certain conditions or operate different hours to those permitted, you should apply for a Temporary Event Notice, which we can assist you with.  This may also be helpful if you wish to use a pop-up bar, provide entertainment that is not already permitted, or have other plans for dealing with additional demand during the World Cup period.

Also, bear in mind the mandatory conditions – in particular the prohibition on irresponsible drink promotions and the provision of free or discounted alcohol in relation to the viewing of a sporting event, which depends on the outcome of the match or the likelihood of anything occurring or not occurring (such as the scoring of goals).

If you operate premises in Wales, you will not be able to take advantage of the automatic relaxation. However, new regulations have been put into place that provide a bespoke Temporary Event Notice in respect of each of the matches England will play or may play, and covers the sale of alcohol and provision of late night refreshment for consumption on the premises. There will be no local authority fee for any such Temporary Event Notice.

If you have any questions about your operations during the World Cup period or would like to discuss this further, please contact us or phone the Licensing team on 0161 838 7888.

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