COVID-19: B.C. eases restaurant regulations to allow for alcoholic beverages to come with pickup and delivery orders

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      The coronavirus and accompanying physical-distancing orders have a lot of people taking a more-relaxed approach to life. Working from home has a lot of people living in sweatpants, for example. And who’s going to notice if you indulge in a bit of a boozy lunch while we ride this thing out?

      Authorities have similarly eased certain regulations in order to help people cope. Yesterday (March 22), the B.C. government extended a hand to restaurants and service-sector employees, announcing that, while they still can’t seat patrons for the foreseeable future, they will now be allowed to deliver alcohol alongside food orders.

      "In these extraordinary times, more British Columbians are relying on delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic," B.C. attorney general David Eby said quoted in a media release. "Permitting licensed restaurants to hire their out of work servers to deliver liquor products as part of their food-delivery service allows the public to continue to observe social distancing measures and also offers much-needed support to these workers and businesses."

      Vancouver bars and restaurants were officially ordered to end dine-in services last Friday (March 21).

      The relaxed rules for alcoholic drinks apply to both pickup and delivery orders.

      "These changes not only help restaurant operators through a very tough time, but also could support the many British Columbians working in our breweries, wineries and distilleries," B.C. minister of agriculture Lana Popham said quoted in the release. "Supporting local businesses and choosing to Buy BC makes a real difference in our communities, especially at a time like this."

      The revised rules took immediate effect and are presently scheduled to expire on July 15, 2020.

      As the Straight reported last week, Vancouver restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have been devastated by the toll the coronavirus is taking on the global economy.

      There are a total of 424 cases of COVID-19 in B.C., according to the province’s March 21 update on the pandemic. Ten people have died.

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