March 21, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

Effective immediately,  Liquor Primaries and Food Primaries are allowed to sell alcohol with take-away and delivery meals. Read below for more details.

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly and we’re working hard to get answers for you.

Many of you are wondering how to access federal and provincial programs aimed at supporting you, your workers, and your businesses. While some funding has been announced, full program details are still being developed. As soon as that information is available, we will circulate it to you.

Included in today’s email:

  • LPs and FPs now allowed to sell alcohol with take-away and delivery meals
  • Copy of provincial health order: liquor primaries allowed to reopen for takeaway and delivery only
  • Copy of LDB notice: single bottle pick service suspended immediately
  • New LCRB policy directive: non-medical cannabis reservations
  • Update from Western Financial Group: Hospitality Insurance Program 
  • COVID-19 business and legal implications for the wine world

Please continue to send your questions by email to ABLE BC: or . 

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

LPs and FPs can sell alcohol with take-away and delivery meals 

We are very pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Liquor Primaries and Food Primaries currently operating in compliance with yesterday’s Public Health Directive are now permitted to sell packaged liquor with the purchase of a take-away or delivery meal. 

Government has moved extremely quickly to make this change at our industry’s request. We are enormously grateful for the support and assistance of our government partners and the many staff who worked around the clock to get this change implemented. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Liquor sales are ONLY permitted with purchase of a meal for take-away or delivery
  • You can sell any and all types of packaged liquor; you cannot sell mixed drinks
  • You may sell via online platforms
  • You may only sell to patrons (i.e. you cannot sell to other liquor licensees)
  • For delivery, the person delivering must have Serving it Right and must ensure the customer is of legal drinking age. As with all liquor sales, it is ultimately the licensees’ responsibility to ensure compliance.
  • The change is effective immediately and will remain in place until July 15, 2020.
  • To be abundantly clear: you ARE NOT PERMITTED to sell alcohol for take-away or delivery without a meal. Doing so will be a direct contravention of your Terms and Conditions and will lead to serious penalties.

This temporary change is an emergency measure to support the thousands of hospitality businesses, and tens of thousands of workers, who are being impacted by this unprecedented crisis. It will also help millions of self-isolated British Columbians continue to enjoy the services of their favourite pub or restaurant.

In addition to the tremendous support of our government partners, we would like to acknowledge the invaluable work of our Business Technical Advisory Panel in effecting this change. Please refer to the updated Terms and Conditions guides for further information. If you have any other questions or concerns about this, please contact Jeff Guignard:

Copy of Provincial Health Officer’s Order: Liquor primaries allowed to reopen for takeaway and delivery only

On March 20, BC’s Provincial Health Officer ordered that all dine-in service in BC be cancelled. 

Liquor Primaries may re-open to offer take-away or delivery food services only. Liquor Primaries that focus on liquor service (such as nightclubs) are prohibited from opening at this time.

For more details and ‘take-away’ requirements, download a copy of the Provincial Health Officer’s Order.

If you have a liquor primary with an off sales endorsement, you are permitted to re-open your retail premises to offer off-sales.

Public Health Criteria for Private Liquor Store

Private liquor stores are free to remain open during this crisis. There are a few public health criteria in place that everyone needs to follow:

  • Customers may be on your premises only for the time that it takes them to purchase and collect their purchases.
  • You must ensure that when there are people on your premises there is sufficient space available to enable them to maintain a distance of 2 metres from one another.
  • You must not have more than 50 people present at one time on your premises (including staff).

If you have any other questions or concerns about this, please contact Jeff Guignard:

LDB Suspending Single Bottle Pick Service

As ABLE BC shared in last night’s update, to minimize service disruptions and mitigate risk to the supply chain, the LDB has made the decision to suspend single bottle picks until further notice. 

Although we know this will be disruptive–especially for smaller or more rural operators– rest assured this is a temporary measure. LDB Wholesale’s workforce and operations are also being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and this temporary change will better assist them in protecting our industry’s overall ability to get liquor orders processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A copy of the LDB’s notice can be found here

If you have any other questions or concerns about this, please contact Jeff Guignard:

New LCRB Policy Directive: Non-medical cannabis reservations

On March 20, the LCRB announced  Policy Directive 20-04 , which allows non-medical cannabis retail store licensees to offer reservations of non-medical cannabis products available in their store to customers via their website or by telephone.

The LCRB writes:

To support the non-medical cannabis retail industry and act upon the feedback of licensees, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is now allowing consumers to reserve non-medical cannabis online via the licensee’s website or over the phone for pick up and payment in store.

In response to the unprecedented public health emergency in British Columbia related to COVID-19, this policy is also an effort to promote public health and safety by promoting social distancing guidelines ordered by the provincial health officer and reducing the time consumers spend in non-medical cannabis retail stores.

Read the policy directive  here.

If you have any questions about this policy, please email:

Update from Western Financial Group: Hospitality Insurance Program

We know many of you have questions about how COVID-19 may impact your insurance policies.

Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions remains strongly committed to addressing issues that impact members of the Hospitality Insurance Program.

As COVID-19 concerns continue to escalate throughout Canada, they are committed to working diligently with clients to support their questions on matters that may arise through these unprecedented times.  For your reference, here is a link mobile numbers of all Hospitality Insurance Program contacts who are available to support you.

COVID-19: Business and legal implications for the BC wine world

Wine lawyer Mark Hicken shares on his websiteBusiness and legal implications for the BC wine world in a changed world.  Mark looks at the impact of COVID-19 on wine consumption, production, distribution, direct to customer sales, and marketing.

Read the full article here.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from ABLE BC

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:
604-688-5560 or

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