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With the festive season upon us once again and already in full swing, it is important to note the restriction on hours of trade in licensed premises over the Christmas holidays. Whether you are running a licensed premises or planning a festive night out with family and friends, always bear in mind that Northern Ireland has its own particular set of licensing laws! The Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 regulates the sale of alcohol within Northern Ireland and sets out trading hours for licensed premises, and it is important to note that the licensing hours vary from normal trading hours at Christmas and New Year.
Outside of the normal permitted hours, some licence holders may have in place an Article 44 additional permitted hours certificate, which enables them to trade for an additional 2 hours each day. However, there is no extension to normal trading hours on Christmas Day even where an Article 44 additional permitted hours certificate is in place.
The hours for trade for the Christmas period 2019 are as follows:-
For licensed premises the usual trading hours will apply throughout December, with Christmas Day as the exception and trading between 12:30pm – 10pm
For licensed premises other than off licences and places of public entertainment where a certificate of additional permitted hours is in place:
Saturday 21 December 11:30am – 1am the following day
Sunday 22 December 12:30pm – 12:00 midnight
Monday 23 December 11:30am – 1am the following day
Tuesday 24 December (Christmas Eve) 11:30am – 12:00 midnight
Wednesday 25 December (Christmas Day) 12:30 pm – 10:00pm
Thursday 26 December (Boxing Day) 11:30pm – 1am the following day
Friday 27 December – Saturday 28 December 11:30pm – 1am the following day
Sunday 29 December 12:30pm – 12:00 midnight
Monday 31 December – Wednesday 2 January 11:30am – 1am the following day
For licences granted under Article 5(1)(b) (Off-sales/Mixed trading):
Saturday 21 December 8:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday 22 December 10:00am – 10:00pm
Monday 23 – Tuesday 24 December (Christmas Eve) 8:00am – 11:00pm
Wednesday 25 December (Christmas Day) CLOSED – licensing laws do not permit the sale of alcohol from an off-sales/mixed trade store on Christmas Day
Thursday 26 December – Saturday 28 December 8:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday 29 December 10:00am – 10:00pm
Monday 30 December – Wednesday 2 January 8:00am – 11:00pm
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our Licensing Team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.