FILE – A server wears a face mask while cleaning a table on the patio at an Earls restaurant, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – A server wears a face mask while cleaning a table on the patio at an Earls restaurant, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. to shut down nightclubs, banquet halls; limit late-night alcohol sales at bars

Dr. Bonnie Henry said risk of going to nightclubs is too great

Nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls are to shut down in B.C., following an amended order issued Tuesday (Sept. 8) by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Henry’s order will also ban alcohol sales in restaurants, bars and pubs after 10 p.m., as well as requiring them to close by 11 p.m. if they do not continue with full meal service. The volume of music or TVs at those establishments must also be no louder than conversation level so that patrons do not have to shout, and thus spit, in the establishment.

“It’s going to be a challenging time for those businesses,” Henry acknowledged, but said that the new orders were necessary for public safety.

“These restrictions will take away that late-night temptation people have, when we know there’s been mixing [of social groups] going on and transmission is happening in these venues.”

The new orders come after Henry told the public last week that it was time to cut back on social interactions, and as cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in B.C. The province recorded 429 new cases and two deaths over the Labour Day long weekend.

“I use orders as a last resort… we do it for things where we know it will make a difference.”

Henry said the closures come after it became clear that banquet halls and nightclubs became “high-risk places” that were unable to bring in enough safety measures to keep guests safe. However, she said that a curfew has not been considered.

The public health orders come into effect immediately, although Henry said there would be a grace period.

As to what qualifies as a nightclub, she said it would be those establishments whose “sole purpose is entertainment and liquor service.”

Henry said that she is not currently considering shutting down dine-in service at bars and restaurants altogether.

READ MORE: B.C. records 429 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths over Labour Day long weekend

READ MORE: What happens if B.C. re-enters a COVID lockdown? Psychologist says we’ll be OK


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Regional and local governments will eventually be required by the province to follow the BC Energy Step Code, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases from buildings. Some governments, now including the RDCK, have decided to phase it in voluntarily ahead of provincial deadlines. File photo
VIDEO: RDCK adopts Step 1 of provincial home energy efficiency plan

New buildings must comply with first level of the BC Energy Step Code

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

A big portion of the funding is anticipated to be used in 2021. File photo
Village of Nakusp receives $692,000 in COVID-19 relief funding

The money will partly be used to help sustain and clean municipal facilities

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Fruitvale woman charged with impaired driving in 2019 crash that killed 2 teens

A 15-year-old boy and 18-year-old woman, both from Fruitvale, died in the crash that sent the vehicle into the river

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

COVID-19 signage outside the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: 22 COVID cases in 14 days in Revelstoke

Interior Health is calling the increasing number of cases a community cluster

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

Most Read