BC extending support for restaurant and hospitality sector

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:27 PDT, Fri September 18, 2020

Last Updated: 1:26 PDT, Wed October 7, 2020

The province is extending temporary measures to support the restaurant and hospitality sector.

The extensions allow for expanded service areas, such as patios, and for the sale and delivery of unopened liquor products with the purchase of a meal by food- and-liquor-primary licensees.

In May 2020, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) began permitting food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries, to apply for a Temporary Expanded Service Area (TESA) authorization through an expedited, no fee, online process. All TESA authorizations were originally set to expire on Oct. 31, 2020 but the province has made amendments allowing for their extension to Oct. 31, 2021.

The LCRB intends to extend all TESA authorizations. However, the branch will reach out to local governments to confirm their support for the extension of approved TESA authorizations in their jurisdiction prior to extensions being granted. All licensees with current TESA authorizations and whose local governments support extension will be re-issued authorization letters, automatically extending the expiry date of their authorizations, before Oct. 31, 2020. Licensees must continue to comply with all local bylaws.

New applications for TESA authorization will be considered up until Oct. 31, 2021. New TESA authorizations for liquor-primary and manufacturer licenses must also receive the approval of local governments.

As of Sept. 11, 2020, 1,073 TESA authorizations have been approved in communities throughout the province.

Government has also approved an extension to the temporary authorization that allows food-primary and liquor-primary licensees to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption. This authorization, which was also set to expire on Oct. 31, 2020, has been extended to March 31, 2021, to continue to provide businesses with relief from the financial hardship of the pandemic, while making it easier for vulnerable British Columbians to continue observing the orders of the provincial health officer.

Both of the extensions came after consultation with the Business and Technical Advisory Panel, a group of liquor and hospitality industry representatives, as well as following the input of several local governments, licensees and members of the public.

View the updated LCRB policy directives here.

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