19 May 2022

Law allowing pubs to stay open to 3am expected to be passed at Stormont today

Cinema will also be able to apply to sell alcohol

Revealed: Kildare pubs second most crowded in Ireland

Pubs in Northern Ireland will be allowed to stay open later as part of plans expected to pass their final hurdle at Stormont today.

The changes will allow pubs and clubs to serve alcohol for an extra hour, until 2am, almost every weekend.

Easter drinking restrictions are also set to be removed, with the legislation to pass its last stage in the assembly on Tuesday.

Most of the changes will take effect from October 1, 2021.

This date will allow the hospitality industry to avail of extended opening times ahead of the Christmas period.

Other measures will come into force from April 6, 2022, in time for next Easter.

Other changes in the bill include the extension in 'drinking-up time' from half an hour to an hour, meaning venues can operate until 3am at weekends.

Under a proposal backed by MLAs earlier this month, cinemas will also be permitted for the first time in Northern Ireland to apply for a licence to sell alcohol to customers.

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