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B.C. extends bar and restaurant patio permits for summer

Image Credit: PEXELS

Restaurants and bars have been given a temporary reprieve for the summer and will be allowed to continue to operate their patios without having to jump through endless red tape.

The B.C. government has agreed to expand its temporary patio permit process until March 2023, pushing back its scheduled June 1 cut-off.

The move should lead to more alfresco dining this summer.

"The (patio permit) extension is great news for the many B.C. restaurants and bars that have innovated and adapted over the past two years," B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association president Ian Tostenson said in a media release.

"After the pandemic downturn, this decision will take one worry off businesses’ plates. As they plan for the future, they can continue to welcome their customers in expanded service areas and benefit from the resulting revenue."

READ MORE: B.C. restaurants push back as govt axes temporary patio permits

The temporary patio permit process was put in at the beginning of the pandemic, allowing restaurants and bars to expand their patios without the lengthy bureaucratic hurdles ordinarily involved.

With bars and restaurants being forced to space out tables inside, many embraced the easy access patio permit during the pandemic.

However, the provincial government had planned to axe the program leaving restaurants and bars to go through a lengthy and complex process of getting a permanent patio license.

The proposed move was met with ire by many in the hospitality industry.

In March, Kamloops publican Layne Richards said extending the patio at his Frick and Frack Taphouse into the parking lot last summer was a much-needed move.

Richards was critical that the government was going to end the initiative in June, as it wouldn't give him enough time to organize a patio for this summer.

The government's extension of the program will now allow businesses to continue with the patios they had last summer.

Businesses will however need to apply for a permanent patio licence to operate in 2023.

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