Pubs will be able to stay open for longer during the World Cup, allowing football fans to watch the game at their local establishment.

Licensing laws will be relaxed to allow pubs and bars to stay open until 01:00 BST when England World Cup matches kick-off after 20:00 BST, the Home Office has said.

The Home Office had previously stated that it did not consider World Cup football matches to be of sufficient “national importance” to warrant extended licensing, but after a two-week consultation it has changed its decision.

The change will mean that pubs will be able to stay open longer and show both of England’s opening matches against Italy on 14 June (kick-off at 23:00 BST) and Uruguay on 19 June (lick-off at 20:00 BST).

The British Beer & Pub Association have welcomed the decision, with Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds saying:

“It’s really great news, which will put pubs at the heart of a great national event. I am particularly pleased that the Government has really listened, and made sure that common sense prevailed, granting the full four hours after kick off for England games, as we had asked.”

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