All Vancouver bars and restaurants now required to close for St. Patrick’s Day, public health order extends beyond downtown core

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      Local health authorities have just announced all Vancouver bars, restaurants, lounges, and similar venues are required to close today (St. Patrick’s Day).

      This new order from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) expands the initial downtown core closures, which was given yesterday (March 16).

      VCH’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Patricia Daly has given this new requirement to local food-and-drink establishments to slow and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

      Businesses will still be allowed to carry out takeout orders and delivery options.

      Yesterday, B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, issued a public health order restricting gatherings to 50 people.

      "Given that the Government of British Columbia has now limited the size of public gatherings to 50 persons, it is only prudent that we require restaurant and bar operators to cooperate with efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19," said Daly in a press statement.

      "We understand this is may pose a financial hardship for operators, but the seriousness of the health care challenge that COVID-19 presents to our community cannot be underestimated,” she added.

      These heightened health protocols follow Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s remarks at a media briefing yesterday, when he urged people not to visit bars and restaurants if they can’t maintain a safe social distance of one metre or more.

      Dozens of Vancouver restaurants and bars have already announced temporary closures amid COVID-19, including Giardino Restaurant and Toptable Group locations.

      Follow Tammy Kwan on Twitter @ch0c0tam and Instagram @ch0c0tam.