There will be no green beer flowing in Vancouver on St. Patrick’s Day following an order to close all bars and restaurants across the city on Tuesday.
On Monday, Vancouver Coastal Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Patricia Daly ordered the closure of bars and restaurants in the downtown core on March 17. On Tuesday, that order was expanded to include bars and restaurants across the city.
“Just stay home and drink your Guinness, listen to the Pogues, and next year, we can all celebrate together,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said late Monday.
Stewart said he contacted provincial health officials about his growing concerns at the prospect of thousands of people gathering together downtown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
That spurred an order from Vancouver Coastal Health’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Patricia Daly.
“It is an offence not to comply with it,” said Stewart, adding that the penalties for doing so would be “significant.”
“At this stage in the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to make sure safety is first, health is first.”
The move came hours after B.C. toughened its cap on the number of people allowed at large gatherings to just 50, although not a provincial order to shut down bars and restaurants.
It also follows a directive from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for people to stay home and exercise social distancing wherever possible.