In an open letter to the BC Provincial Health Officer and the BC Government, the members of the BC Technical Advisory Panel on Liquor Policy ("BTAP" - a group appointed by the BC government to advise on issues related to the liquor industry) have asked for reconsideration and modification of recent orders made by the Health Officer related to the Covid19 pandemic.
On September 8th, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Health Officer, ordered all nightclubs and standalone banquet halls to close, ordered music volumes to be reduced, and ordered that all liquor service in all licensees throughout the province must end at 10 pm. BTAP is concerned about both the policy rationale and the devastating economic consequences of these orders, and are particularly concerned about these issues in relation to ending liquor service at 10 PM.
Specifically, BTAP has requested and suggested that government consider the following:
- Extend the end of liquor service from 10 PM to midnight
- Greater enforcement of non-compliant venues and customers, targeting the problem areas directly rather than unfairly affecting good operators
- Provide transparent timelines and/or public health targets so businesses can gauge the long-term effect of any restrictions
Full disclosure: I formerly chaired the BTAP Panel and am still a member of the Panel.