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Pubs cancel post-midnight reopening events after Government amends regulations

Police Federation chairman John Apter said the Government’s ‘lastminute.com approach’ was ‘very unhelpful’ to policing.

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Pubs have had to cancel their post-midnight reopening events (Yui Mok/PA)

Pubs have had to cancel their post-midnight reopening events (Yui Mok/PA)

Pubs have had to cancel their post-midnight reopening events (Yui Mok/PA)

Pubs have been forced to cancel post-midnight reopening events following a Government announcement that regulations enforcing their closure will remain in place until 6am.

Some landlords – including the pub chain BrewDog – had planned to reopen their venues in England as the clock ticked past midnight.

But several hours before they were due to welcome customers, No 10 said on Friday afternoon the ban would now remain in place until later on Saturday morning.

Pub owners and the Police Federation of England and Wales have since criticised the timing of the announcement.

Adam Snowball, managing director of the Showtime sports bar in Huddersfield, said it was “massively disappointing” to have to cancel his reopening event.

The 35-year-old said about 50 people had booked a table at his venue on Zetland Street, which would have remained open until 3.30am.

He told the PA news agency: “We only found about the changes this morning when we received a call from Kirklees Council’s licensing department.

“To be honest, I don’t think the Government had thought about it (pubs reopening at midnight) until it was reported in the media that venues like ours would be.

“It’s massively disappointing, but it does allow us to step off the gas a little bit.”

Mr Snowball said customers were being notified that the bar would not be open until 10am on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a BrewDog spokeswoman said the chain had also been required to tell customers that its planned ticket-only events in Manchester, Newcastle and Shoreditch would no longer be going ahead.

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Police Federation chairman John Apter (Steve Parsons/PA)

Police Federation chairman John Apter (Steve Parsons/PA)

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Police Federation chairman John Apter (Steve Parsons/PA)

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said while he welcomed the decision to keep pubs shut until 6am, the timing of the announcement was “very unhelpful”.

He said: “I think the lastminute.com approach to this is very unhelpful to policing and adds even more pressure to what is an already difficult situation.”

Mr Apter said the federation, which represents thousands of rank and file officers, had “raised concerns” about some pubs planning to open after midnight.

He said: “It is a good thing the Home Office has acted and has made the right decision keep pub doors firmly shut until 6am.

“I would urge the public to be responsible, sensible, and mindful of the restrictions that are still in place.”

While regulations allowing for the reopening of pubs and bars comes into force from 6am, licensing conditions will still apply – so venues can only open at the time they normally have permission for.

PA