June 30, 2021

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

As you know, tomorrow British Columbia moves into step 3 of the Restart Plan. For more information on what changes in step 3, please read our update on June 30. The public orders for Food and Liquor Serving Premises and Gatherings and Events have also been updated.

Updated Public Order: Food and Liquor Serving Premises

Please note, the following changes do not take effect until 9:00 am on July 1, 2021.

  • Capacity: the operator must determine the maximum number of patrons who can be accommodated safely on the premises, taking into consideration the requirements in Part A of the public order, and must document this maximum number.
  • Congregation: the operator must take steps to prevent the congregation of patrons outside the premises and must assess the premises for places where patrons may congregate and put in place measures to avoid congregation.
  • Patrons must be seated: if patrons consume food or drink on the premises, other than a tasting room with a liquor manufacturer license, there must be sufficient seating for them and patrons must be seatedwhile in the premises.
  • Patrons cannot move around between tables
  • Patrons must remain seated when in a premises, other than a cafeteria or tasting room with a liquor manufacturer’s license, except:
    • To use a self-serve food or drink station
    • To use a juke box, self-serve lottery ticket dispenser, or pay at a pay station
    • To use washroom facilities
    • To provide assistance to another person who requires care or first aid
    • To leave or return to the premises
  • Patrons can stand to play pool, billiards, snooker, or darts, or bowl, but must do so with other people who are in the same party and who are seated with the patron.
  • Dance floors must be closed with physical barriers or occupied with tables, unless they are being used for a dance performance
  • A patron must not dance on the premises
  • Events: The Gatherings and Events Order applies to events which are held on the premises

Please note, the following changes do not take effect until 9:00 am on July 1, 2021. For more information, please read the public order.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@ablebc.ca.

What has been removed from the public order (i.e. is allowed effective July 1 at 9:00 am):

  • Physical distancing: patrons no longer have to maintain a distance of two metres from other patrons
  • Physical barriers: patrons who are not in the same party no longer need to be separated by a physical barrier. While physical barriers are no longer required, Dr. Henry has said they will continue to encourage barriers remain in place, particularly those that protect workers. Visit this WorkSafeBC page for more information on suggested protocols in step 3.
  • Bar service: under the former public order, liquor could only be served to patrons who were seated. This has been removed and bar service is now permitted. Patrons however must be seated when consuming food and drink and/or if they remain on the premises.
  • Group limits: there are no limits on the number of people who can be seated together
  • Contact tracing: the requirement for contact tracing was removed in step two of BC’s restart plan
  • Singing and Karaoke: the clause stating that patrons must not sing or engage in Karaoke on the premises has been removed in the new public order
  • Live performers: there are no rules in the current order around separating performers and patrons by at least three metres
  • Hours of liquor service: liquor service hours restrictions have been lifted, meaning you may return to the service hours listed on your license

For more information, please read the public order. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@ablebc.ca.

Changes for Nightclubs

ABLE BC has been working behind the scenes for the past 24 hours to amend the rules for nightclubs.

Despite previous reports, the above public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises does apply to nightclubs.

This means that nightclubs can have more than 10 people seated at a table and tables do not have to be two metres apart. No dancing and no socializing between tables is still in effect.

Updated Public Order: Gatherings and Events

Please note, the following changes do not take effect until 9:00 am on July 1, 2021.

Outside Events

  • No more than 5,000 persons, or 50% of the seated operating capacity of a place, excluding event staff, whichever number is greater, are present
  • There is seating available for each participant
  • Participants are seated throughout the place in such a way as to use all available space
  • Collecting contact information is no longer required
  • Dancing is allowed at outdoors events
  • For full conditions, please read the public order

Inside Events

  • No more than 50 persons, or 50% of the seated operating capacity of the place, excluding event staff, whichever number is greater, are present
  • There is seating available for each participant, and each participant is assigned to a seat or a table
  • Participants are seated throughout the place in such a way as to use all available space
  • Participants stay in the seat to which they are assigned, and do not move from seat to seat
  • Dance floors are closed with physical barriers or occupied with tables, unless they are being used for a dance performance
  • Participants do not dance
  • For full conditions, please read the public order

For more information, please read the public order. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@ablebc.ca.

Liquor store hours permanently extended

Liquor retailers authorized to open earlier for the safety and convenience of their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic now have the option to maintain their expanded morning hours.

In April 2020, government temporarily authorized liquor retailers, such as wine stores and private liquor stores, to open as early as 7 am, to facilitate physical distancing for seniors and those who are immunocompromised. This temporary authorization was originally set to expire on June 30, 2021.

However, in response to industry feedback and to ensure businesses can continue to support their customers – particularly seniors and those who live in rural areas, who have benefited from the convenience of extended retail hours – the Province is permanently allowing liquor retailers throughout BC to operate between 7:00 am and 11:00 pm daily, if they choose to do so.

This permanent change relates to in-store shopping only. Liquor delivery may occur only after 9:00 am and the authorization for unlicensed third-party delivery services to deliver liquor at 7:00 am expires on June 30, 2021.

These changes do not override any additional requirements or limitations placed on hours of liquor service by local governments or First Nations.

For more information, please read Policy Directive 21-13.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.


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