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Sep 16, 2020

Concern over New Provincial Health Order for Bars, Nightclubs, Restaurants & Banquet Halls

On Sept 8 the Province announced several strict new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. The move has sparked concern among many members of the Chamber and has certainly got the attention of BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC). As of last week, nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls were ordered closed indefinitely, restaurants were advised that the sale of liquor must end at 10 p.m. and all venues were told to reduce the volume of music or other sources to conversational levels.  
 
ABLE BC and members of the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP) sent an urgent to the Province expressing significant concerns about certain aspects of the public order, particularly in relation to ending liquor service at 10 PM. The industry group has suggested that government consider: 
  • Extending the end of liquor service from 10 PM to midnight. 
  • Greater enforcement of non-compliant venues and customers, targeting the problem areas directly rather than unfairly affecting good operators. 
  • Provide transparent timelines and/or public health targets so businesses can gauge the long-term effect of any restrictions 
 
Along with the economic impact, the Chamber is concerned about the potential unintended consequences that could occur if those who were planning to enjoy a nice evening out in a controlled environment then switch to an uncontrolled gathering at a private residence. The Chamber also believes that this is an example of where targeted or regional approaches could be put in place that are reflective to the rate of transmission within a health region as that varies significantly across the province. 
  
We understand discussions with the government are ongoing and we will advise you as soon as more information becomes available.  If you have some thoughts on this issue you can use our online member policy portal BY CLICKING HERE.