Guidelines, templates, and other resources to help restaurants, cafes, and pubs in B.C. develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan and re-open safely during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan.
Latest Update - January 7th, 2021: The November 19th, 2020 Provincial Health Officer (PHO) order to suspend all events and social gatherings has been extended to February 5th, 2021 at midnight.
Read the latest Provincial Health Officer orders:
- PHO Order – Food and Liquor Serving Premises and Retail Establishments which Sell Liquor (PDF) - December 31st, 2020
- Provincial Health Order - November 19th, 2020
- Prevention Regional Measures – November 11, 2020 (PDF, 360KB)
- Gatherings and Events – October 30th, 2020
- Food and Liquor Serving Premises - October 9th, 2020
On May 19th, BC’s Provincial Health Officer lifted the temporary order on in-person dining and drinks service, providing businesses can follow guidelines on social distancing and reduced capacity.
Provincial Health Officer Announces New Restrictions for Pubs, Restaurants, and Night Clubs - September 8th, 2020
In response to rising COVID-19 cases, the Provincial Health Officer announced a range of measures for the food and drink industry:
- All night clubs and stand alone banquet facilities to close immediately
- All bars, pubs, and restaurants to stop selling alcohol after 10pm
- All bars, pubs and restaurants to close by 11pm
- Music and background sounds (DJs, TVs, etc) must be no louder than normal conversation level
July Update: On July 23rd, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, released a revised Public Health Order for all licensed premises in British Columbia. The order applies to all bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Key changes are listed below. This order repeals and replaces the PHO order made on June 19, 2020.
- All patrons will be required to remain seated at an assigned table, booth or counter
- Patrons who are not in the same party must be seated two metres apart unless separated by a physical barrier
- There must be no more than six patrons seated at a table or booth, even if they belong to the same party
- Liquor may only be served to patrons who are seated and there will be no self-service (no walking to the bar to get a drink)
- Dance floors must remain closed with physical barriers or occupied with tables
- Patrons must not sing or dance on the premises.
WorkSafeBC Guidelines for Re-opening
WorkSafeBC published Restaurants, cafés, and pubs: Protocols for returning to operation to help food and drink businesses develop a Safety Plan and re-open safely. The guidelines cover various levels of protection you may need to develop measures for. Key protocols include:
- Places where meals and drinks, including drinks containing liquor, are prepared and served can only accommodate a total amount of patrons that can be safely seated while maintaining social distancing. This must also include any patio space.
- Tables should be restricted to parties of up to six people
- There should be 2m between patrons sitting at different tables, and between people from different parties sitting at a bar or counter
Related WorkSafeBC guidelines if your workplace includes other environments:
Please Note: In addition to these guidelines for workers, to help protect your customers you should also refer to guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, the appropriate health authority, and industry associations such as the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
Temporary Expedited Patio Program (TEPP)
From June 1st to October 31st, 2020, Vancouver businesses can set up free temporary patios in front of or beside their business in an on-street parking space or on the sidewalk.
There are three types of temporary expedited patio permits:
- Small sidewalk patio
- Large sidewalk patio
- Curbside patio
British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association
With guidance from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association gathered several industry experts to build a set of best practices for the re-opening of in-restaurant dining.
The document focuses on several key areas restaurants will need to familiarize themselves with before planning to reopen. These include:
- Staff Health and Safety
- Heightened Cleaning and Sanitation
- Physical Distancing Measures
- Guest Education
- Next Steps
- Proposed Start-up Checklist
Restaurants Canada COVID-19 Resource Page
As the foodservice industry moves to the recovery and reopening phase, Restaurants Canada has put together a comprehensive resource list to help businesses make their plan. Resources include:
Blacksheep Restaurants COVID-19 Handbook
Hong Kong restaurant group Blacksheep Restaurants created a COVID-19 processes and protocols handbook. After it was widely shared within the industry, the group made it freely available to anyone looking for a template to help them create their own safe reopening guide.