B.C. government liquor stores are adjusting opening hours in an effort to protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government said the reduced hours at the B.C. Liquor Stores (BCLS) will ensure staff can complete additional store cleaning in the off hours to reduce risk to both employees and customers.
The number of customers permitted in stores will also be limited, where required, in order to allow for the two-metre social distancing measures outlined by the provincial health officer and the Ministry of Health.
The provincial government said while there is no shortage of beer, wine and spirits in B.C., an increase in sales and customers has led to challenges in keeping shelves properly stocked.
The adjusted hours are expected to allow staff to ensure products are available for customers at a time when stores have been experiencing staffing shortages.
If landlords or shopping malls are limiting hours, the Liquor Distribution Branch will be required to reduce operating hours accordingly.
The B.C. government said as the COVID-19 situation evolves, then it will look at temporary measures to support the hospitality industry.