When is the August bank holiday 2021? And how many UK bank holidays are left for this year?

The next bank holiday for most in the UK will be in August.

People across the UK enjoyed a scorching May bank holiday this year, with many taking to beaches and beauty spots to bask in the sun.

But after the latest bank holiday, when will the next be? These are the remaining dates for bank holidays in the UK for 2021.

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England and Wales

Morris dancers in the village square in Clun, Shropshire, celebrating the May Day Bank Holiday.

There are several more bank holidays in England and Wales for the rest of the year. They are:

-Summer Bank Holiday: Monday, August 30.

-Christmas Day: Monday, December 27.

-Boxing Day: Tuesday, December 28.

Scotland

-St Andrew’s Day: Tuesday, November 30

-Christmas Day: Monday, December 27

-Boxing Day: Tuesday, December 28

Northern Ireland

-Summer Bank Holiday: Monday, August 30

-Christmas Day: Monday, December 27

-Boxing Day: Tuesday, December 28

What restrictions will be in place on the next bank holiday?

It’s hoped that most restrictions on everyday life will be eased from June 21, meaning that the next bank holiday may offer freedom of choice on how people want to spend it –and with whom.

Why do we have bank holidays?

Bank holidays were first introduced by banker, politician and scientific writer Sir John Lubbock, who drafted the Bank Holiday Act in 1871.

He added Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and Boxing Day to the two common law holidays that already existed, which was Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Originally, it was just banks and financial buildings that closed on these dates, which is where the name “bank holiday” comes from.

A briefing paper from the House of Commons Library on bank and public holidays explains: “The Bank Holidays Act 1871 sought to address the fact that, while most employers were able to give their workers day off on “public” holidays, it was difficult for banks to do so because the holders of bills of exchange had the power to require payment on those days.”

Gradually, the likes of businesses, shops, schools and the Government also joined in on these holidays.

The Bank Holiday Act was repealed and replaced by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which remains in force today.

What’s the difference between a bank holiday and public holiday?

Bank holidays generally refer to the certain number of public holidays that we get every year - eight if you live in England and Wales, nine if you live in Scotland and 10 if you live in Northern Ireland.

The Government explains that, according to the law, there is a distinction between the two holidays.

Bank holidays are holidays created under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, and they include days that are specifically listed in the Act, as well as days that are proclaimed by the Queen.

Public holidays are common law holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and include Christmas Day and Good Friday. In Scotland, the term “public holiday” holds a different meaning, where it refers to specific local holidays.

While there is a difference between bank holidays and public holidays, the difference is largely academic and in practice generally operate in the same way.