Party longer on New Years Eve

Establishments across the island will be permitted to stay open selling alcoholic beverages for an additional hour this New Year’s Eve.

Holders of a valid liquor licence will have an extra hour of business beyond their usual closing time, something that has started to become a regular practice for the last day of the year unless 31 December happens to fall on a Saturday night.

Mitchell Welds, the chairman of the Liquor Licensing Board, reminded licensees of their responsibilities regarding the extended hours.

‘Liquor sales and the playing of music must cease during the last 10 minutes of permitted opening hours and all customers must vacate the premises before closing,’ he said.

There are seven categories of licence, which are related to the different type of establishment and therefore allow different permitted opening hours. For example, nightclubs under the retail category have closing times of 2am for alcohol sales and 3am for music and dancing, and liquor stores are registered under the package category, where the standard opening hours are 10am to 7pm.

However, some stores in certain locations close at 6pm, and a very limited number of establishments, mostly catering for the outer districts of the island, are allowed to open until 10pm having been granted what is known colloquially as a ‘grandfather licence’ for historical reasons.

Other categories include beer and wine, restaurant, hotel, distributor, temporary and occasional licences. However, at this time no temporary licences have been issued. Occasional licences are issued as one-offs for special one-night only events.

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