Pub Opening Hours Extended In Northern Ireland
Published on Oct 1 2021 8:08 AM in Pub/Bar/Nightclub tagged: Featured Post / pubs / Northern Ireland / hotels / Hospitality Ulster / The Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2021
Pub and hotel opening hours have been extended in Northern Ireland.
From today (Friday October 1), pubs and hotels can apply to remain open until 2am up to 104 nights per year and smaller pubs can remain open until 1am up to 104 nights per year.
The new extended opening hours are part of the first phase of The Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2021.
Additionally, drinking-up time has increased to one hour, restrictions on late night opening on Sundays have been removed, licensed race tracks are now permitted to sell alcohol on Sundays, registered clubs are now permitted to open until 1am up to 104 nights per year and all additional restrictions on opening hours for Easter weekend will be removed.
The remainder of the The Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2021 will reportedly be commenced in phases over the next few years.
Northern Ireland Communities Minister Statement
In a statement published on communities-ni.gov.uk, Northern Ireland Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said, "I was pleased to be able to deliver this new legislation. The next step is to ensure it is successfully brought in to operation. From 1 October, the first changes of the major reforms I have delivered will become a reality.
"This first phase will see restrictions on Easter opening being lifted meaning Easter weekend next year will be the same as any other weekend throughout the year.
"It includes pub and hotel licence holders being able to apply for later opening, providing them with more flexibility, particularly in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year.
"It will also see drinking-up time increased from 30 minutes to one hour which will support a more gradual dispersal of people from licensed premises."
Hargey added, "My Department will continue to engage with stakeholders to bring the remaining provisions of this reform into operation. Most of the remaining provisions will come in to effect in April 2022 with some others requiring a slightly longer period."
Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Statement
The Irish News quotes Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill as saying the changes to Northern Ireland's licensing laws are a "significant step forward for the hospitality industry", and, "The entire industry has been struggling over the last 18 months and this will provide a confidence boost, and will bode well for the future of the hospitality offer as we plan ahead."
"The updated liquor licensing legislation will see a well-balanced approach to how the hospitality sector trades, addressing the perennial question marks around the likes of permitted Easter opening times and drinking up time and will provide greater opportunity to attract more tourists and visitors to our shores as we compete in the international market place.
"We look forward to seeing the positive impacts of these changes."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.