June 15, 2021

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

As you know, BC enters Step 2 of the Restart Plan today. Moving from Step 1 to Step 2 includes:

  • Outdoor personal gatherings up to 50 people and indoor personal gatherings up to 5 people or 1 other household
  • Indoor seated organized gatherings and outdoor seated organized gatherings up to 50 people with a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Recreational travel within British Columbia
  • Indoor and outdoor dining for groups up to 6 people
  • Liquor served until midnight
  • Banquet halls can operate with limited capacity and COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Small in-person meetings at offices and workplaces
  • Employers must continue to have COVID-19 Safety Plan and daily health checks in place

Physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings.

The earliest target start date for Step 3 is July 1, and September 7 for Step 4. View the updated BC Restart Plan four-step graphic here. View the full Restart Plan here

As BC moves into Step 2 of the Restart Plan, the public orders for Food and Liquor Serving Premises and Gatherings and Events have been updated. More details are provided below.

Updated Public Order: Food and Liquor Serving Premises

Download the public order for Food and Liquor Serving Premises (updated on June 15) here.

Key changes to the order:

  • Patrons must remain seated but can stand to play pool, billiards, snooker, or darts, or bowl with a maximum of five other people who are in the same party
  • Collection of personal information is no longer required
  • Amplified music is now allowed (i.e., music can be louder than background level)
  • Liquor sales are allowed until midnight
  • Unless full meal service is provided, premises which are licensed to serve liquor must close between 1:00 am and 9:00 am and all patrons must vacate the premises. If a full meal service is provided, premises may stay open, but liquor service must not resume until 9:00 am the following day.
  • Liquor cannot be consumed on the premises after 1:00 am
  • The Gatherings and Events Order applies to events held on your premises. The previous conditions (listed under section 33 of the previous Food and Liquor Serving Premises public order; i.e., marketing and promoting events, wearing costumes) no longer apply. You must not promote, engage in, or permit an event that is prohibited under the Gatherings and Events Order.

Other order highlights:

  • Nightclubs must continue to cease operating as a nightclub. Casinos and nightclubs will be allowed to operate with limited capacity in step 3 of the Restart Plan (July 1 start date). We are working with the PHO to get more details on this now.
  • There must be no more than six patrons seated at a table or booth, even if they belong to the same party.
  • Dance floors remain closed and patrons must not sing, engage in karaoke, or dance on the premises.
  • For full conditions, please read the public order.

Reminder: physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings. Customers must wear a mask when not at their table.

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

Updated Public Orders: Gatherings and Events

Download the public order for Gatherings and Events (updated on June 15) here. Events in food and liquor serving premises are regulated under this order.

Key changes to the order: 

  • 50 people can attend inside, seated events and follow other COVID-19 safety rules, but no singing, dancing, or karaoke
  • 50 people can attend inside, seated event at banquet halls, and in addition to the rule for other inside events, there is no self-serve food or liquor allowed
  • 50 people can attend outside gatherings
  • No person may sell or serve liquor at an event after midnight. An event at which liquor is consumed must end by 1:00 am and all participants must vacate the place at which the event is held.
  • For full conditions, please read the public order.

Reminder: physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings. Customers must wear a mask when not at their table.

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

Extension to Temporary Expanded Service Areas Authorization: June 1, 2022

More than 2,000 temporary patios authorized to serve liquor during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to become permanent under amended provincial liquor regulations.

This includes prospective patios that are supported by local governments and meet local bylaws.

Temporary expanded service areas (TESAs) have allowed thousands of restaurants and pubs to serve more patrons while complying with health orders, particularly those related to physical distancing and indoor dining.

To ensure existing and prospective TESAs can operate without interruption as they transition toward becoming a permanent part of BC’s hospitality landscape, the Province is:

  • Extending the authorization of existing TESAs for an additional seven months, through to June 1, 2022
  • Continuing to accept applications for new TESAs up to October 31, 2021

The changes will give businesses time to apply to make their current TESA authorizations permanent and prevent the risk of disrupting TESA use during the application process. 

Local governments and Indigenous Nations will have until July 30, 2021, to raise concerns about existing TESA authorizations in their jurisdiction before those temporary authorizations are extended by six months by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). To all licensees with current TESA authorizations and whose local governments have not raised concerns, LCRB will issue authorization letters extending the expiry date of their temporary authorization to June 1, 2022.

Extended TESA authorizations must remain in compliance with local bylaws and all other requirements. Without a new authorization letter, existing TESAs will expire October 31, 2021.

For more information:


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