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  1. Politics
9 July 2021

England and Wales have the lowest number of public holidays in Europe

A snap bank holiday if England win the Euro 2020 final will still leave it far behind other countries.

By Ben Walker

More than 300,000 Britons have signed a petition calling on the government to give the UK a Bank Holiday on Monday if England win the Euro 2020 Championship final against Italy. The petition, if followed to the letter, would see the entire UK take Monday off to celebrate what would be a historic win for the English team. 

Downing Street has neither confirmed nor denied whether plans for a snap bank holiday are in the works. But if one did come to pass, it would do little to move England and Wales from bottom of the league table for public holidays in Europe.

England and Wales rank bottom in Europe for the number of public holidays
Number of public holidays by European nation. May vary year-by-year

The number of bank holidays offered to the UK Home Nations pales in comparison to those offered in Finland, Malta, and Cyprus, where residents typically enjoy two weeks or more of public holidays. Scotland has one more than England and Wales, and Northern Ireland has two more.

The number of public holidays varies year by year. England, for example, will have nine, not eight, in 2022, owing to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years since her accession to the throne.

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