On Friday the province announced that BC restaurants, pubs, breweries, and other licensees will be permitted to expand their licensed area.
This temporary authorization will allow the expansion of service areas like patios in order to support physical distancing requirements and industry recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to support businesses in their reopening efforts, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation branch (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 new temporary authorizations are focused on expanding a licensed service area’s footprint only, meaning it won’t increase a business’s overall occupancy.
There will be no fees for the temporary expansion applications, which will be “reviewed in the order they are received using an expedited approval process for faster processing times.”
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“This is excellent news that will be welcomed by all of our members and by businesses throughout BC,” said Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
“This pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for all of us, and it has been invaluable for government and industry to work together as they have, as we take these important steps toward recovery. We thank the Province for its significant efforts and look forward to rebuilding together.”
In a statement released on Friday, Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he is pleased with this expansion decision.
“This change complements work already underway by staff at the City of Vancouver to expedite the approval of new patios starting on June 1,” said Stewart.