No relief in sight for businesses in B.C. wanting to serve liquor past 10 p.m. - InfoNews

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No relief in sight for businesses in B.C. wanting to serve liquor past 10 p.m.

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September 17, 2020 - 5:06 PM

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry refuses to back down on her order that bans bars and restaurants from serving alcohol later than 10 p.m.

She took that stand during her COVID-19 briefing today, Sept. 17, after a reporter said some businesses face bankruptcy if they can’t sell liquor later at night. She also received a letter to that effect from operators.

“We do not make these decisions lightly,” Dr. Henry said. “We put in the restrictions when it became clear that there were challenges meeting the safety requirements.

READ MORE: Nightclubs and banquet halls ordered closed as B.C. health officials report 429 new COVID-19 cases

“We were seeing, from around the province, that there becomes a time of the night when things become liquor forward and we knew that here were ongoing transmission issues and it was unsafe. We had transmission events, documented in several places around the province.”

It was becoming more difficult for health officials to keep on top of these establishments. Along with those who broke the existing rules she was also hearing from WorkSafeBC and workers that, when things got out of hand late at night, workers did not feel safe.

“Orders were done with thought and with the realization that there are places, right now, that cannot operate safely,” Dr. Henry said.

The ban on serving alcohol at nightclubs and restaurants was issued on Sept. 8.

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