British Columbia

B.C. extends liquor store hours of operations to provide greater physical distancing

While operating hours at most businesses continue to shrink or outright disappear, the opposite is happening at one type of establishment: liquor stores.

Government run liquore store hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. remain unchanged

Liquor stores can now operate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. to provide greater opportunities for physical distancing. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

While operating hours at most businesses continue to shrink or outright disappear, the opposite is happening at one type of establishment: liquor stores.

The province announced Wednesday it is temporarily extending retail liquor store hours to provide greater opportunities for physical distancing for seniors and immunocompromised individuals.

However, it says the operating hours for government run liquor stores which were reduced to 11 a.m.-7 p.m will remain unchanged..

If retailers so choose, they may now operate their businesses between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily.

"These time-limited measures should provide seniors and immunocompromised populations the opportunity to buy liquor during early shopping hours already being provided by other retailers, such as grocery stores," Attorney General David Eby said in a statement.

The new hours are expected to make it easier for businesses to comply with physical distancing orders by the province like the maximum allowable number of customers allowed inside a store at one time.

The temporary directives also make it possible for delivery services to purchase alcoholic products on behalf of a customer from a liquor store.

The new measures are in effect until July 15, 2020. (B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch)

As well, retail stores licensed by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch are authorized to sell and deliver liquor in unopened containers during the new hours of operation.

The new measures are in effect until July 15, 2020. However, the province says the policies "do not override any additional requirements or limitations placed on businesses regarding hours of liquor service by local governments or First Nations."

Clarifications

  • While the provincial government has extended hours of operations for retail liquor store outlets in B.C., the hours for government-run liquor stores remain the same.
    Apr 16, 2020 2:21 PM PT

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