September 11, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

As you are aware, on September 8, BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a number of strict new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

While a written order has not yet been issued, a transcript of Dr. Henry’s verbal orders indicates that the following orders were made:

  • all nightclubs and all standalone banquet halls are ordered closed until further notice 
  • liquor sales in all bars, pubs, and restaurants most cease at 10 PM and these venues must close at 11 PM, unless they’re providing full meal service, in which case the meal service can continue, but not serve alcohol 
  • music or other background sounds such as from televisions in bars, lounges, pubs, and restaurants must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation 

Since September 8, ABLE BC and our industry partners have been working tirelessly to get the order amended.

This afternoon, ABLE BC and members of the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP) sent an urgent letter to the Premier, Attorney-General, Minister of Health, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, and the Provincial Health Officer expressing our significant concerns about certain aspects of the public order.

Download a copy of the letter.

BTAP is concerned about both the policy rationale and the devastating economic consequences of these orders, and are particularly concerned about these issues in relation to ending liquor service at 10 PM.

Specifically, BTAP has requested and suggested that government consider the following:

  • Extend the end of liquor service from 10 PM to midnight
  • Greater enforcement of non-compliant venues and customers, targeting the problem areas directly rather than unfairly affecting good operators 
  • Provide transparent timelines and/or public health targets so businesses can gauge the long-term effect of any restrictions

Download a copy of the letter for more details.

Thank you to everyone who completed our 3-question survey on the impacts of this public order. We sincerely appreciate your quick response. If you haven’t done so, please complete the survey now. This survey does not apply to liquor retailers.

ABLE BC and BTAP are continuing to work with government on this issue and will send out an urgent update, as soon as more information becomes available.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

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