Think again – and act fast – on TENs

Amid all the sprucing up and organising and ordering ahead for the Festive Season, it’s important to remember – and plan for – the big changes to TENs which are almost on us.

Temporary Events Notices (TENs) are a crucial part of the licensing and hospitality sector – known to all permanent alcohol licence holders and even those who make only the occasional application for a drinks licence for a community event. You simply can’t operate outside your normal licensing hours without a TEN (unless you want to face a huge fine, as opposed to the few pounds an application to the licensing authority will cost you).

As part of its attempts to help sustain the hospitality sector, the Government introduced temporary TENs measures during the Covid pandemic, permitting a greater number of applications per premises or per licence-holder each year to allow extended bar hours and regulated entertainment beyond the norm.

But those temporary measure come to an end at midnight on December 31st this year, when they will revert to these pre-pandemic levels:

0
Number of TENs applications that can be submitted in a calendar year
0
Maximum number of days that the TENs can cover in a calendar year

What this means is that licence-holders will have to plan more carefully for special events and take a year-long view. It’s no good running regular late-night events through the year and discovering you’ve run out of TENs on December 1.

It also means that anyone planning an out-of-normal-hours event over the next month will have to move fast. A standard TEN application must be received at least 10 days before the start of the event (not including the day the notice is lodged or the starting date of the event). A late TEN application can be lodged between nine and five days before an event, but if there are any objections, the event cannot proceed. TENs applications received less than five days before the due start date are invalid and any event cannot go ahead.

For those suddenly flying into a panic and searching desperately for a TENs application form, here’s a guide to cut-off application dates for Christmas and New Year:

24th December 2023

Boxing Day

Standard TEN by December 8th

Late TEN by December 15th

24th December 2023
25th December 2023

Christmas Day

Standard TEN by December 8th

Late TEN by December 15th

25th December 2023
26th December 2023

Boxing Day

Standard TEN by December 8th

Late TEN by December 15th

26th December 2023
31st December

New Years Eve

Standard TEN by December 13th

Late TEN by December 20th

31st December
1st January 2024

New Year's Day

Standard TEN by December 13th

Late TEN by December 20th

1st January 2024

(Late TEN applications for New Year’s Eve are unlikely to be accepted).