New Public Health Orders were issued yesterday which place severe restrictions on the business operations of the hospitality sector including wineries and liquor manufacturers. The new Orders were made verbally at a press conference by the Provincial Health Officer. They have now been published in a written Order located here (Food & Liquor Serving Premises Order) and are summarized here: Province-Wide Restrictions. The new Order is effective until April 19th (or perhaps longer, if it is extended). The major effects of the Order are as follows:
- Restaurants and Bars can no longer permit inside dining. Operations are restricted to outdoor (patio) dining or take-out. For many businesses, this will dramatically reduce their operations or cause them to shut down.
- Manufacturer tasting rooms may continue to operate but customers cannot be seated indoors. They may taste indoors if standing (there is an exception for those unable to stand). Customers may be seated for tasting if they are doing so outdoors.
- There can be no interaction between groups of patrons. There are various distancing rules and safety protocols set out in the Order.
- Winery (and other manufacturer) retail stores may continue to operate.
- The restrictions apply to the entire province, including areas where there is a lower incidence of Covid.
As a result, the latest versions of the most applicable Public Health Orders for the hospitality and winery sector are as follows:
- Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order issued on March 31, 2021. Applies to the hospitality sector including wineries and liquor manufacturers.
- Gathering and Events Order issued on March 24, 2021. Applies to many situations and sectors. Parts of it will affect winery and manufacturer operations.
- Workplace Safety issued on December 16, 2020. Applies to all workplaces including wineries and manufacturers.