Since both May bank holidays have fallen during the lockdown, the UK government is currently considering adding another one in October.
OK, it’s not confirmed yet so don’t get too excited, but the UK government is currently considering a proposal to give us all an extra bank holiday this year. An idea proposed by the UK tourism agency Visit Britain would see another bank holiday added to the calendar in October, in a bid to help offset revenue lost from the ongoing lockdown – and as you’d expect, we’re very much on board with the plan.
Visit Britain’s acting head Patricia Yates mooted the extra bank holiday in a meeting of the government’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, arguing that it would help to compensate for lost income from the two May bank holidays. She argued for the need to generate tourist revenue beyond July and August, and since her solution is to give us another day off work, I’m inclined to praise her as a genius.
The October bank holiday would fall somewhere around the October half-term, but the caveat here is that Downing Street has to accede to the request. They’ve promised to respond to the proposal “in due course”, but have already noted that bank holidays tend to cost the wider economy money. I’d also point out that proposed a bank holiday for the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee and the contentious Brexit-inspired ‘United Kingdom Day’ holiday have both failed to materialise in recent years, so take the news with a pinch of salt.
The UK hasn’t had an extra bank holiday since 2012, when we got a special day off to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, the October bank holiday would be only the second time we’ve had a day off for non-Royal Family reasons, the first being when the UK took December 31, 1999 off to celebrate the new millennium. Still, I think we all deserve a little break after this, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed!