Lifeline thrown to B.C.'s unemployed servers during COVID-19 pandemic

In a bid to help the thousands of servers in B.C. feeling the impact of restaurants effectively shutting down during the pandemic, the province is allowing them to deliver liquor products alongside a meal.

"Permitting licensed restaurants to hire their out of work servers to deliver liquor products as part of their food-delivery service allows the public to continue to observe social distancing measures and also offers much-needed support to these workers and businesses,” said B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby.

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The changes will be made available to customers who purchase a meal and the sealed, packaged liquor product for pick-up from the restaurant's premises or for delivery at home.

Previously, the licensees were only permitted to sell liquor for consumption in their establishment, unless they had a special endorsement on their licence.

Existing safeguards, added the government, for safe consumption continue to be in place, such as verifying identification.

The individuals delivering the liquor products will also be required to be certified with Serving It Right certification.

The changes take effect immediately and expire July 15, 2020. The timeline can be amended by government through a regulation change.

Last week, B.C.’s top medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, ordered restaurants to halt dine-in services, as she felt they couldn’t operate while maintaining the safe, two-metre social distance required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

They are, however, allowed to operate a take-out and/or delivery service.

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