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B.C. to allow breweries, cafes to operate patios without serving food

The Hillside Mall in the Victoria food court is closed for in person dining. Richard Zussman/Global News

The B.C. government will allow breweries, cafes and other establishments to operate a patio even if they are not serving food.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that the province would ban in-person dining until April 19. Restaurants, bars and other establishments can still offer takeout, delivery and patio service.

The province originally required establishments to serve food in order to operate a patio but changed the policy after industry consultation.

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Establishments will be required to operate patios under current safety plans. This includes physical distancing guidelines and a requirement to only meet on a patio with someone in your household or household bubble.

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Patios can operate under a tent, but they cannot have physical walls. Outdoor spaces, such as rooftop patios, that require customers to walk through a building to get there are allowed to operate, but businesses are responsible to ensure people do not gather indoors.

The orders also require food courts and other communal eating places to stop in-person dining and move to takeout only.

The province has posted the full order on the government website.

Wineries and breweries will be able to serve samples indoors, but full orders must be consumed on a licensed patio.

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