All Vancouver dining establishments will be ordered to close today

Mar 20 2020, 12:15 pm

It’s been a confusing time to be a restaurant, bar, cafe, or brewery owner, but finally, it’s crystal clear what the next step for hospitality is amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Mayor Kennedy Stewart called for Vancouver restaurants and bars to close their doors.

However, in a press conference today, Stewart will be ordering all dining establishments in the City of Vancouver to close, unless they can offer takeout or delivery and a safe working environment for their employees (one to two metres between individuals).

This order, which comes after the City of Vancouver declared a state of emergency on March 19, officially comes into effect at midnight tonight.

If dining establishments are found to be in non-compliance with this order, there are several possible ramifications for business owners.

While exact details surrounding penalties have not been outlined yet, the Mayor’s Office tells Daily Hive that food and beverage establishments that continue to operate their dining rooms risk losing their business licenses and could receive bylaw fines.

“There are several enforcement mechanisms available to us, and we need to work with our staff and the VPD to determine how this will look. But for example, defying the public health order is an offence under BC’s Public Health Act and comes with penalties of up to $25,000 or six months in jail, or both per offence.”

With coronavirus on the rise, BC public health authorities are reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.