Loading articles...

All downtown Vancouver bars, restaurants to be closed on St. Patrick's Day

Last Updated Mar 16, 2020 at 11:14 pm PDT

Granville Entertainment District (Stephanie Froese, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the closure will be temporary, and a public health order has been issued

The order will be enforced by police and by-law officers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Vancouverites with plans to venture downtown to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day are being ordered to stay home as the city steps up efforts to contain COVID-19.

According to the city, affected areas include those between Stanley Park to Main Street and from the Burrard Inlet to False Creek, but specific boundaries have yet to be announced.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart said a public health order has been issued compelling the complete closure of downtown bars and restaurants on one of the industry’s busiest days.

“This is an official order so failure to comply is an offence, and we’re going to be enforcing this order — VPD as well as by-law officers. So it’s serious, and official, and bar and restaurant owners must comply,” Stewart explained.

Stewart said he made the decision after talking to Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry who earlier urged a province-wide ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.

“There were street parties being planned for the Granville Strip to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is normally a good thing, but not at this time,” he said. “The bottom line is we have to make decisions that protect public health.”

Specific boundaries along with the specific penalties for failing to comply are expected ahead of what were to be planned festivities.

Earlier on Monday, the mayor urged the city’s bars and restaurants to limit the number of patrons, and for people to keep their distance if they do dine out.

With files from Jonathan Szekeres