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COVID-19: B.C. ban on indoor dining to be extended into May, industry says

Click to play video: 'With indoor dining ban, B.C. restaurants look to patio expansion to survive' With indoor dining ban, B.C. restaurants look to patio expansion to survive
With the ban on indoor dining being extended, possibly through the May long weekend, many restaurants around B.C. are scrambling to find ways to make up for the lost revenue. And while many local governments are doing what they can to help, many restaurateurs say the real help needs to come from the province. Catherine Urquhart explains. – Apr 14, 2021

B.C.’s restaurant and bar industry says it has been told the ban on in-person dining will be extended into May.

An email from the British Columbia Restaurant And Foodservices Association (BCRFA) to its members said industry stakeholders met with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with regards to a provincial health order restricting in-person indoor dining that was set to expire on April 19.

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Why B.C. restaurants weren’t given more notice about immediate indoor dining closures – Apr 6, 2021

“Our conversation has indicated that the current PHO order restricting in-restaurant dining will be extended beyond April 19th through to May,” the email said.

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An email from B.C.’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees to members said “although nothing has been finalized, it is highly likely that the current ban on indoor dining will be extended at least until after the May long weekend.”

Read more: COVID: Sweeping new restrictions in place including in-person dining at B.C. bars and restaurants

The BCRFA email went on to say stakeholders talked to Henry about “inconsistency and confusion in regards to patios” and they will be working with B.C.’s top doctor to develop clearer guidelines around patios.

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A provincial health order went into effect late last month that stated all food and liquor-serving premises must only provide take-out or delivery service. Dine-in service is prohibited, except for outdoor patios.

— With files from Richard Zussman

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