Pubs will be allowed to stay open late during the Euros this summer – but only on one condition

If England or Scotland get through to the semi finals and beyond, British boozers will get to stay open later

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee
Contributor, Time Out London and UK
Football on screen at Brighton beach
Photograph: Marius_Comanescu /

Picture this. The sun is setting behind a cloudless sky. It’s 23 degrees. You’re in a pub with your friends, cold drink in hand, watching the football. All is well.

This, dear reader, will be a reality in a matter of weeks. As if that wasn’t enough to get excited about, the government has just announced some pretty exciting news.

Licensing laws will be relaxed this summer, allowing pubs to stay open to 1am – but only if England or Scotland make it to the semi-finals (or beyond) of the Euros. As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the teams, now the fate of the entire nation’s drinking itinerary is in the hands of a bunch of blokes in their early-to-mid twenties. 

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, says he hopes the move will ‘allow friends, families and communities to come together for longer to watch their nation hopefully bring it home,’ whilst also providing a much needed boost to a struggling hospitality industry. 

The semi-finals will take place on July 9 and 10, with the final scheduled for July 14. If England or – in some sort of miraculous event – Scotland do make it to that stage of the competition, pubs usually only allowed to open until 11pm on weekdays will have free reign to allow punters to either celebrate their win, or drink away their sorrows, until 1am the next morning.

Scotland’s first game will be on June 14, and England will kick off on June 16. Let’s keep everything crossed that they win us those sweet, sweet extra hours of midsummer boozing. 

Looking for summer plans?

We know the UK better than anyone. Why not head on one of our favourite Great British Road Trips, or visit one of the country’s most beautiful hidden beaches? We’ve also got rundowns of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK, our country’s best museums, and our favourite hidden Airbnbs.

Did you see that a brand new airline for dogs is taking flight this summer?

Plus: Heineken is reopening 62 pubs across the UK this year.

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