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Licensed premises urged to remind visitors of updated Easter trading hours

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With a packed agenda of sporting fixtures planned for the Easter weekend which will affect both the day and night–time trade, licensed premises across Northern Ireland are being urged to issue a reminder of their updated opening hours as new licensing laws come into effect for a second year. According to Seamus McGranaghan, Commercial Partner O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors, the relaxation of the regulations especially for licenced premises with a late licence who can now sell alcohol until 1am should support traders during a time when those visiting Northern Ireland are increased. “With the Easter weekend nearly upon us now is a good time for bars, restaurants and hotels to review the recent changes made to licencing laws and in particular permitted trading hours which will be in place during the Easter holiday period in Northern Ireland,” said Seamus. “Given that the upcoming Easter holidays will be only the second time in which the new legislation is in operation, licenced premises should bear in mind the new, more relaxed rules relating to the sale of alcohol when preparing for business over the coming week.    “With many visitors and tourists coming to Northern Ireland this weekend, the updated licensing laws mean that all premises trading on these dates have the opportunity to generate increased revenue during a busy time of year as hospitality businesses remain open as normal during the bank holiday period.”   The changes which came into effect in October 2021 means that the hours during which licenced premises can sell alcohol, throughout the Easter holiday period, is now the same as any other time of the year.  Licenced premises with a late licence can now sell alcohol until 1am and for those premises, with the benefit of additional permitted hours, the time limit for selling alcohol is 2am.    “The changes give customers more choice and provide the sector with the opportunity to trade when previously they couldn’t, allowing our bars, restaurants and hotels to really showcase the very best of the hospitality offer,” concluded Seamus. 

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