Early May bank holiday in 2020 to move to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day

10 Jun

Last week the Government confirmed that the early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which takes place on 8th May.

This will be only the second time that the early May bank holiday has been moved with the first being in 1995 to mark VE Day’s 50th anniversary.

It is intended that commemorative events will take place across the country over the 3 day weekend, including:

  • the Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II;
  • bagpipers playing the traditional 'Battle’s O’er' at the top of the 4 highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland;
  • bells in churches and cathedrals across the country joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace; and
  • local street parties and celebrations.

It should be noted that the change will affect England, Wales and Northern Ireland with Bank holidays being a devolved issue in Scotland.

Licensing implications

No details have been mentioned about whether a licensing Order might be issued to allow for extended trading over that weekend, as had previously been the case for the recent Royal Weddings.

If no such Order is forthcoming, or in any regard, Licensees may wish to carefully review their licences to see whether any non-standard timing that related to the usual early May bank holiday Monday still applies to the newly proposed bank holiday Friday. Otherwise, a Temporary Event Notice may be required.

Furthermore, if you were considering arranging a street party to commemorate the anniversary, you will need to consider liaising with the local authority for any road closures – or indeed possibly a Temporary Event Notice for any outside bars or regulated entertainment.

If you need further advice about these matters, please contact our solicitors.

Law correct at the date of publication.
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