In order to reinforce social distancing orders and help support workers in the restaurant industry, government is making changes to temporarily allow restaurants to deliver liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal.
“In these extraordinary times, more British Columbians are relying on delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Eby, Attorney General, in a news release. “Permitting licensed restaurants to hire their out of work servers to deliver liquor products as part of their food-delivery service allows the public to continue to observe social distancing measures and also offers much-needed support to these workers and businesses.”
These changes will be made available to customers who purchase a meal and the sealed, packaged liquor product for pick up from the restaurant’s premises or for delivery at home. Previously, these licensees were only permitted to sell liquor for consumption in their establishment, unless they had a special endorsement on their licence.
Existing safeguards for safe consumption continue to be in place, such as verifying identification. The individuals delivering the liquor products will also be required to be certified with Serving It Right, which government hopes will help encourage businesses to use currently laid-off serving staff to make these deliveries. Staff in licensed establishments are already required to hold this certification.
These changes come as the restaurant and hospitality industry have been deeply impacted by COVID-19. The Business Technical Advisory Panel, which consists of representatives of the liquor and hospitality industry, provided this recommendation to help support struggling hospitality workers and businesses during this time.
“A special thank you to the members of the Business Technical Advisory Panel for their recommendations during this public health emergency that has had such a terrible impact on workers in our favourite bars and restaurants,” Eby added. “Government is committed to working with hospitality workers and businesses to identify ways to reduce the impact of this crisis.”
The changes take effect immediately and expire July 15, 2020. The timeline can be amended by government through a regulation change.
“These changes not only help restaurant operators through a very tough time, but also could support the many British Columbians working in our breweries, wineries and distilleries,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Supporting local businesses and choosing to Buy BC makes a real difference in our communities, especially at a time like this.”
Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s policy directive: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/business-management/liquor-regulation-licensing/policy-directives/20-05_sale_and_delivery_of_packaged_liquor_from_service_area_for_off-site_consumption.pdf