New health and safety rules have cut the number of authorized seats in half and include social distancing requirements.
“This pandemic has hit our hotel industry hard,” said Attorney General David Eby on Friday.
“Our government is working with industry to support more than 180,000 British Columbians who work in pubs, restaurants and other areas of the sector.”
Speeding up the process will help businesses and provide more options for people to eat safely while following the directions of provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Eby.
Restaurants, pubs, wineries and breweries started to open again this week after internal service was shut down in mid-March to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.
The British Columbia Liquor and Cannabis Regulatory Authority now allows outlets with licenses for primary food, primary alcoholic beverages and manufacturers to apply through a streamlined online process to temporarily expand their stores. service areas until October 31.
The change will allow companies to increase the size of their seats, but it will not affect the number of seats they are allowed. Municipal approval is required. Ian Tostenson, President and CEO, B.C. The Restaurant and Foodservices Association said the change was “great news.”
“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 done, as we take these important steps toward recovery,” he said. -he declares.
While some establishments in Greater Victoria are keen to add more outdoor space as the weather warms up, not everyone expects to take advantage of it.
Natasha Richardson, General Manager of Brentwood Bay Resort on Verdier Avenue, said she had plenty of room to meet provincial standards for distancing, but was violated by the rule that requires a 50% reduction seats.
The pub has a license for 120 seats, now reduced by half to 60, and plenty of space.
If allowed to adhere only to the guidelines on removal, it could hold a total of 73 seats, said Richardson.
Each business is unique, she said. “This is the room we find the most difficult. “
At the Loghouse Pub on Millstream Road in Langford, manager Darren Cross said that the expedited approval for the outdoor space “will benefit many places, for sure.” “
No decision has been made at the Loghouse – which has a license for 217 pre-pandemics – as to demand. He has a large patio, but he could seek to use part of the lawn, he said.
Allowing more outdoor seating will particularly help small businesses, said Cross. For them, “it is difficult to do enough business to pay the bills,” he said.
John Adair, one of the owners of Sooke Brewing Co. on Otter Point Road, was pleased to see the expedited approval process for the patios.
“It would certainly be something that would help us because we lost a large amount of capacity in the tasting room,” said Adair.
“The business model here is really built around that. “
The company had 80 seats before closing in March, but is now 30 – 15 inside and 15 outside, Adair said. An additional room could be used in a parking lot and in front of the company to meet demand, he said.
It also has a terrace. “Being able to increase this outside capacity would really help us get back to where we were before March,” said Adair.
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