Distilleries across British Columbia now have the permission from the provincial government to mass produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The new unprecedented temporary regulations are being made through an updated policy directive from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
This production capability policy is effective immediately, until further notice.
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“We are in unprecedented times and everyone must do their part to fight COVID-19,” said David Eby, the Attorney General of BC, in a statement.
“Distilleries have been approaching us asking how they can help, and this new policy directive will mean they are authorized to manufacture alcohol-based hand sanitizer.”
According to a release, some distillers are already donating excess alcohol from their distilling process to another party to produce hand sanitizer, while others are creating hand sanitizer themselves.
The hand sanitizer products made by distilleries are required to meet federal regulatory requirements, specifically products that contain a sufficient level of alcohol content to kill the coronavirus.
Distilleries can either sell or donate the hand sanitizer they have manufactured.
“The flexibility shown by distillers to create much-needed hand sanitizing products demonstrates the leadership of BC’s agriculture sector and highlights the additional and unforeseen roles that BC’s food and beverage producers can play in an emergency response,” said Lana Popham, BC Minister of Agriculture.
Across the country, a number of distilleries have already announced their plan to produce urgently needed hand sanitizer products. This includes Labatt Breweries’ announcement today of creating 50,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for Food Banks Canada along with front line workers and their partners in the restaurant and bar industry.
While hand sanitizer is highly effective, public health officials are encouraging the public to thoroughly wash their hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing remains the best way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.