Extended trading hours for the Rugby World Cup 2023
Information for licensees on temporary changes to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 for extended hours during the Rugby World Cup 2023.
Temporary amendments to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act) for the men’s Rugby World Cup 2023 allow eligible on-licence and club-licence holders to extend their trading hours to televise live games from the tournament in France without the need to apply for special licences.
The amendments can be found in sections 45A–45H and schedule 4 of the Act. The approach is similar to that taken for the last two Rugby World Cup tournaments, with some improvements. This factsheet provides information on eligibility for extended trading hours and your responsibilities as a licensee when using them.
You can extend your trading hours if:
- you hold a current club licence or an on-licence
- your main reason for extending your trading hours is to host customers to watch live games from the Rugby World Cup 2023
- your licence has not been varied or suspended under section 280 of the Act in the past year, and
- your licence has not been suspended or cancelled immediately before or during the Rugby World Cup 2023.
You must notify your territorial authority (city or district council) and the nearest Police station of the games you intend to be open for.
This notification must be in writing (either by post or email) and must be received by both parties at least seven calendar days before the games you intend to extend your trading hours for. We encourage you to make notifications as early as possible to give Police and others plenty of time to plan. The notification can list multiple games. It also needs to outline the steps you will take to keep noise levels down (see the ‘Noise management’ section).
As soon as practicable after notifying the territorial authority and Police, you must display information about how your premises will use extended licensing hours, including details of how noise will be managed - in the same way as you normally display your alcohol licence. You must keep this information updated throughout the tournament.
Cancellation of notification
If you change your mind about opening for a game you have notified for, you must provide a cancellation of notification to your territorial authority and nearest Police station as soon as possible.
Templates and guidance
It is important that you fill in the relevant templates and provide all the information required. This will ensure that you meet your responsibilities under the Act, help minimise neighbourhood inconvenience and disruption, and help Police to do their job.
A schedule of the games, templates, and guidance for notifications, cancellation of notifications, and display notices can be found at in the Related Links section below.
Your premises must keep noise levels down when screening after-hours games, and you must outline how you will do this in your notification (see the ‘Notification’ section). In addition to the normal noise management conditions in your licence, you will be required to take extra measures to reduce noise, appropriate to your location and game times.
These include ensuring customers and staff do not:
- use the premises’ open areas at all, even those normally used for smoking, or
- use audio equipment such as loudspeakers in open areas, or
- dispose of empty bottles or other rubbish or leave them for collection in open areas.
“Open area” is defined by the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990, s2(1) as a part of a premises that is not an internal area.
Concerns about noise will be reported to the territorial authority and Police, and it will be for their enforcement staff to determine the appropriate response.
When premises can open and sell alcohol for after-hours games
If a game starts during your premises’ usual permitted trading hours, you can remain open for the whole match.
If the first game starts less than two hours after your usual closing time, you do not have to close leading up to the game.
Your premises can otherwise open and sell alcohol from one hour before a game starts.
If a game starts more than two hours after the end of your premises’ usual permitted trading hours, you must close at the usual time, then reopen one hour before the start of the game.
When must premises stop selling alcohol and close?
Premises must stop serving alcohol 30 minutes after the game ends (if this time is outside of your usual permitted trading hours and does not overlap with the lead-up time you are allowed to be open for a subsequent game).
If you hold an on-licence, you must ensure all patrons have left and the premises is closed one hour after the game ends (if this time is outside of your usual permitted trading hours and it does not overlap with the time you are allowed to be open for a subsequent game).
If you hold a club licence, you may remain open after the game ends, but you will not be able to sell alcohol until the usual permitted trading hours (or the time you are allowed to sell alcohol for a subsequent game).
Effect of consecutive games
If there are more than two hours between the games you have notified for, you need to follow the rules outlined above in the section ‘When must premises stop selling alcohol and close?’. Premises that are required to close one hour after a game ends, such as bars and taverns, can reopen one hour before the next game starts.
If there are less than two hours between games, you can stay open but need to follow the rules for selling alcohol outlined in the section ‘When must premises stop selling alcohol and close?’.
Examples of how the opening and closing times for extended trading hours apply in different scenarios are at the end of this factsheet.
One-way door policies
One-way door policies do not apply one hour before, during, or one hour after the extended trading hours.
Conditions on the extended trading hours
During the Rugby World Cup 2023, the amendments to the Act will override certain conditions related to restrictions on trading hours and one-way door policies.
However, you must comply with all other conditions that apply to your usual permitted trading hours such as any restrictions on types of drinks sold, or who the premises can sell and supply alcohol to.
Offences in the Act not overridden by the amendments still apply during extended trading hours (eg it remains an offence to serve intoxicated people).
- Factsheet for licensees[DOCX 188 KB]
- Guidance for licensees notification cancellation of notification display notice[DOCX 189 KB]
- Display Notice Template 2023[DOCX 33 KB]
- Rugby World Cup 2023 Game Details[DOCX 58 KB]
- RWC 2023 Flowchart[PDF 77 KB]
- Notification Template Rugby World Cup 2023[DOCX 73 KB]