Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association has warned its members to expect the provincial health order halting indoor food and beverage service to be extended into May because of high COVID-19 infection rates.

The association posted a notice Tuesday advising that the instruction came from a meeting with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, attended by representatives from Restaurants Canada and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of B.C.

“Our conversation has indicated that the current PHO order restricting in-restaurant dining will be extended beyond April 19th through to May,” the April 13 notice states. “This is a result of the continued high number of daily cases and the province’s goal to have restrictions in place that avoid socialization and gathering indoors, for now.”

The three-week “circuit breaker” order also restricted indoor fitness groups, and is expected to be extended when Henry releases the province’s latest coronavirus pandemic modelling on Thursday.

The restaurant association is offering members assistance with getting local government approval for an extended patio to keep businesses open during the spring shutdown of indoor service, and what the notice calls “inconsistency and confusion” on patio rules.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 case declines again, 873 Tuesday

RELATED: Tougher restrictions ‘still on the table,’ Horgan says


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