May 22, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues, 

We’re writing you with some good news this morning: government has taken action to support BC’s hospitality sector by temporarily authorizing the expansion of service areas, such as patios. This change is meant to help support physical distancing requirements and industry recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the full government news release here.

The LCRB will now permit food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries, to apply through a simplified online process to temporarily expand their service areas until October 31, 2020.

The temporary authorizations are focused on expanding a licensed service area’s footprint only and will not permit an increase in an establishment’s overall occupancy. Licensees must comply with all local bylaws and liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees must also receive the approval of their local government.

There are no fees associated with the temporary expansion applications, which will be reviewed in the order they are received using an expedited approval process for faster processing times. While there will not be a site inspection prior to approval of the permit, inspectors will conduct regular compliance inspections.

This positive change is in direct response to the advocacy work of the Business Technical Advisory Panel, as well as ABLE BC and our industry partners the BCRFA, BC Craft Brewers Guild, and BC Wine Institute. ABLE BC greatly appreciates the ongoing work of Attorney General David Eby, his staff, and the LCRB to support our industry in this time of crisis.

For more information:

Our full COVID-19 update will be sent out later today. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact: or

Zoom Meeting for Liquor Primaries There is still space if you’d like to join ABLE BC for a Zoom meeting today at 1:00 pm PT. We’ll be discussing Liquor Primary reopening protocols and answering your questions about the new guidelines.

To RSVP and get the Zoom link please email

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