Indoor dining restrictions to be extended across B.C. due to surging COVID-19 cases

Guests seated for indoor dining service with safety measures in place at Café Medina in Vancouver, BC

Restrictions to indoor dining across British Columbia are expected to be extended into May, according to an industry update newsletter from the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA). 

Tuesday (April 13) afternoon the BCRFA, Restaurants Canada and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) had a meeting with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in regards to the current provincial health order, which prohibits in-restaurant dining. 

"Our conversation has indicated that the current PHO order restricting in-restaurant dining will be extended beyond April 19th through to May," explains a statement from the BCRFA. "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 BCRFA also mentions that they expressed frustration with inconsistency and confusion in regards to patios. As a result, the organization said they would be working closely with officials "on a patio guidelines document which will better outline the requirements for patios and provide clarity for [the] industry."

In public postings on Tuesday evening, ABLE BC indicated the ban on indoor dining would likely be "extended at least until after the May long weekend."

The new public health order amendments for restaurants were first announced by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a live press conference on Monday, March 29. 

The new restrictions do not affect restaurants from offering outdoor or patio dining or take-out and delivery services.

Last summer, cities like Vancouver fast-tracked applications for temporary outdoor dining spaces in order to help restaurants recoup some of the lost revenue from reduced indoor dining capacities and other pandemic-related financial woes.


A post shared by Shawn Soole (@shawnsoole)

With files from Lindsay William-Ross.

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