Pubs open longer for royal wedding
All pubs will be allowed to stay open until 1am for two nights of celebrations for the royal wedding under Government plans, the Home Office has said.
Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton was "an occasion for national celebration" and "licensing hours should be relaxed in all licensed premises in England and Wales".
The "modest relaxation" of the licensing hours will allow alcohol to be sold in pubs and clubs, and will also permit live and recorded music, dancing, plays and films until 1am on April 29 and 30, he said.
Mr Brokenshire told MPs: "These are the days when people are most likely to want to celebrate."
The plans, which are subject to a Home Office consultation, use powers that enable the Home Secretary to relax opening hours for licensed premises "to mark occasions of 'exceptional international, national or local significance'", he said.
"However, we are mindful that late-night drinking can lead to crime and disorder and public nuisance." he said. "On this basis, we are proposing a modest relaxation of licensing hours until 1am and intend to restrict the order to the sale of alcohol in pubs, clubs and anywhere else where alcohol is consumed on the premises and to regulated entertainment such as live and recorded music, dancing, plays and films.
"We are also limiting the order to Friday 29th - the day of the wedding - and Saturday 30th as these are the days when people are most likely to want to celebrate."
The move was welcomed by the British Beer and Pub Association.
Chief executive Brigid Simmons said: "This is great news, and it is really good to see the Government recognising that this is a brilliant opportunity for us all to get together in the pub, to celebrate a great national event.
"With state-of-the art TV, great food and hospitality, pubs will be right at the heart of the royal wedding celebrations, and are the perfect place to enjoy the day. Looking forward to 2012, let's hope we can do the same for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee."