March 17, 2020
As many of you heard from ABLE BC last night (March 16, 2020), Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has announced that all bars and restaurants in the downtown Vancouver core must close for St. Patrick’s Day (today).
Here’s what Mayor Kennedy said:
Following a call with BC Health Minister Adrian Dix where I raised concerns around thousands of people who were planning to attend Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in the downtown core, the Minister immediately got in touch with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Medical Health Officer to also raise these concerns.
In dialogue with the Public Health Officer, Dr. Henry, the VCHA Medical Health Officer Patty Daly has issued a Public Health Order to shut down all bars and restaurants in the downtown core of Vancouver for St. Patrick’s Day.
We recommend making the necessary arrangements and informing your staff immediately.
We are frustrated and deeply disappointed that the City made this decision unilaterally, without any industry consultation. Given that this announcement contradicts the Mayor’s comments from hours before, this has led to ample unnecessary confusion – such as how the city defines “downtown core,” or why this is restricted to the downtown core. We are working to get that information for you as quickly as possible.
Despite this hasty decision, we remain united with the City of Vancouver in its ongoing efforts to deal with the current COVID-19 crisis as it wreaks havoc on our economy. We wholeheartedly support the Mayor’s efforts to contain this pandemic and are working diligently to ensure our industry and the City of Vancouver are advancing positive solutions together.
As you well know, the situation is evolving rapidly. We will circulate further updates about St. Patrick’s Day restrictions, as well as how COVID-19 will continue to impact your businesses, as soon as they are available.