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Province allows liquor stores to extend hours for seniors, immuno-compromised

Last Updated Apr 16, 2020 at 2:22 pm PDT

FILE: This June 16, 2016 file photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store in Salt Lake City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Rick Bowmer
Summary

Retail liquor stores in B.C. will be allowed to extend their hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government says

Shops, including wine and private liquor stores, are now allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., if they want to

The hour extensions take effect immediately and will remain in place until July 15

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province is allowing retail liquor stores to temporarily extend hours to allow seniors and other vulnerable people shop safely.

Stores, including wine stores and private liquor stores, are now allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., if they choose to, opening earlier than previously permitted.

This takes effect immediately and will remain in place until July 15.

The province says allowing retail liquor service to extend hours will help local businesses in getting customers to physical distance while shopping.

“These time-limited measures should provide seniors and immuno-compromised populations the opportunity to buy liquor during early shopping hours already being provided by other retailers, such as grocery stores,” a release from the B.C. government reads.

The BC Liquor Store chain will not be extending its hours despite the announcement and continue to operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“The current hours of operation guarantee high levels of customer service and operational needs can be met with current staffing levels,’ she said. “We plan to return to normal store hours gradually, on a store by store basis, but only when we have determined it’s safe to do so,” said Viviana Zanocco, spokesperson for the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, which runs BC Liquor Stores.

As part of temporary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery services are also allowed to buy liquor products for customers on their behalf from a liquor store or anyone else licensed to sell these products. The extended hours apply to these deliveries.

The new directive doesn’t override additional requirements or limitations set by local governments or First Nations, the province adds.