VICTORIA — Patio season in British Columbia may become permanent as the government says more than 2,000 restaurants with temporary outdoor seating areas that popped up COVID-19 can now apply to keep them.
The government says in a news release those restaurants and bars authorized to serve liquor on their patios can ask to make it part of their permanent service under amended rules.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says temporary patios have become a "lifeline" for businesses and the government is looking at making the expanded serving areas part of a long-term recovery plan.
Now that B.C. is in step two of its restart plan, Tourism Minister Melanie Mark is encouraging people to travel and explore the province this summer.
A joint statement from Mark and leaders of the provincial tourism and hotel sectors says every dollar spent in B.C. at a local hotel, restaurant, attraction, experience or shop helps people and families restart and recover.
Step two allows for travel within the province, up to 50 people to attend outdoor or seated indoor gatherings, and bars and restaurants to resume serving liquor until midnight, provided safety plans are in place and masks are worn inside public spaces.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2021.
The Canadian Press