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Oct 14, 2020

Updated PHO Guidelines: October 9, 2020

On the 9th of October, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released updated public health orders for food and liquor serving premises as well as updated public order for gatherings and events. This includes a new address to patrons of these establishments, in addition to owners and operators in the food & liquor service order.

Updated Food & Liquor PHO

The public order is addressed to: owners, operators, and patrons of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias, and food primary and liquor primary establishments, including pubs, bars, lounges and nightclubs, liquor manufacturing facilities that have tasting rooms and private clubs.

This order does not apply to events as defined in the Gatherings and Events Order, or to meetings or conferences held in hotels or anywhere else.

This order repeals and replaces the order made on September 18, 2020.

Key Changes in the Order:

  • The public order is now addressed to patrons, in addition to owners and operators. NEW: Patrons must not be present in premises operating as a nightclub. Patrons must also comply with the distancing and other requirements in the public order, and with measures, guidance, and directions from owners, operators, or staff, designed to avoid the congregation of patrons.
  • In licensed premises, other than cafeterias, private clubs or tasting rooms with a liquor manufacturer licence, patrons must be assigned to a table, booth or counter and shown to their seats. NEW: Patrons must stay in the seat assigned to them and must not move from table to table. 
  • Unless a full meal service is provided, premises which are licensed to serve liquor must close by 11:00 pm and all patrons must vacate the premises. NEW: If a full meal service is provided, premises may stay open, but liquor service must not resume until 9:00 am. 

Also, as a reminder:

  • Owners and operators of liquor primaries operating as nightclubs must cease operating as a nightclub. NEW: The new public order defines nightclubs as "a liquor primary establishment at which the main activities are selling liquor and providing music to which patrons can dance."
  • Liquor sales for onsite consumption must cease by 10:00 pm.
  • Background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.

For more information, please read the Food and Liquor Serving Premises public order.


Updated Gatherings & Events PHO

The public order is addressed to:

  • Owners and operators of banquet halls
  • Owners and operators of vacation accommodation
  • Occupants of vacation accommodation and guests
  • Owners and operators of places, including premises subject to the food and liquor serving premises order
  • Persons who organize events
  • Persons who attend events

For further certainty, this order applies to private clubs and meetings or conferences held in hotels or any other place.

This order repeals and replaces the order made on September 18, 2020.

  • The updated order clarifies who the public order is addressed to and now clearly includes patrons as well as licensees.
  • The order separates conditions for places not subject to the Food and Liquor Serving Premises order, and places that are subject to the order.
  • Patrons must comply with:
    • The limitation on the number of patrons permitted to gather (50 patrons)
    • The distancing and other requirements in sections 5, 10, and 11 of the public order
    • Measures, and guidance and directions from owners, operators, organizers, or staff designed to avoid the gathering of more than the permitted number of patrons or the congregation of patrons
  • The gathering of more than 50 patrons at a place which is subject to the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order for the purpose of an event is prohibited. NEW:
    • Subject to a maximum number of fifty patrons, the owner of food and liquor serving premises in which events are hosted must calculate the maximum number of patrons who can be accommodated safely during an event, taking into consideration the requirements of this order and must document this number in the safety plan with respect to events.
    • The organizer must monitor the number of patrons present during an event and ensure that the number of patrons present does not exceed the maximum number documented in the safety plan with respect to events.
  • The order clarifies that all rules to apply to Food and Liquor Serving Premises, also apply to events hosted in the space. See pages 7-10.