Christmas is well and truly under way in NI, so whether you are hoping nights out with friends or a staff knees-up you will want to keep the licensing laws in mind.
Over Christmas , the times during which alcohol may be sold on licensed premises in Northern Ireland is slightly different to the rest of the year.
Licensed premises include businesses such as bars, restaurants, hotels and theatres who hold a licence to sell alcohol or a ‘liquor licence’.
Some licensed premises have a ‘late licence’ that normally allows them to sell alcohol as late as 1am, instead of the usual limit of 11pm.
These are the permitted hours that licensed premises can sell alcohol during the Christmas period -
Christmas Eve, 24 December 2019: Licensed premises may sell alcohol 11.30am - 11.00pm and those with a ‘late licence’ may sell alcohol until midnight. Off-licences may sell alcohol 8am - 11pm.
Christmas day, 25 December 2019: Licensed premises may sell alcohol 12.30pm - 10pm, even if they hold a late licence. Off-licences are not allowed to sell alcohol at all.
Boxing Day, 26 December 2019: Licensed premises can sell alcohol 11.30pm - 11pm. Those with a late licence may sell alcohol until 1am. Off-licences can sell alcohol 8am-11pm.
New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2019: Licensed premises can sell alcohol from 11.30am - 11pm - and those with a late licence may sell alcohol until 1am. Off-licences can sell alcohol from 8am - 11pm.