The B.C. government has deployed temporary liquor restrictions on Wednesday in an effort to limit COVID-19 transmission on St. Patrick’s Day.
On March 17, 2021, liquor sales will be ceased across the province for both on- and off-site sales beginning at 8 p.m. March 17.
The ban on alcohol sales will last until 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 18
This is all aimed at discouraging large gatherings in the hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“A reminder for those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day to do so safely and in line with the provincial health officer’s orders,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement on Tuesday. “That means that last call at restaurants, pubs and liquor stores will be at 8 p.m. on March 17, 2021, to protect our businesses and the people who work in them.”
Dr. Henry adds that along with protecting businesses and staff, the ban on liquor sales helps to make sure that “we don’t have an explosive increase in cases related to an event.”
This marks a similar temporary restriction installed by the government back on New Year’s Eve — another day that typically involves gatherings. The government waited until the last minute to reveal the ban in December, causing restaurants to scramble in order to change their celebration plans.
In an attempt to better prepare the restaurant and bar industry this time around, Dr. Henry announced the new temporary liquor restrictions during a press conference last week.
At the same time health officials announced the St. Patrick’s Day rule changes, they also eased restrictions on outdoor gatherings, allowing British Columbians to meet with up to 10 people.