VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Temporary patio spaces that have been popping up since the start of the pandemic could be here to stay, according to B.C.’s public safety minister.
Mike Farnworth says the more than 2,000 temporary patios authorized to serve alcohol during COVID-19 can apply to become permanent under amended provincial liquor regulations.
“Temporary patios have been a lifeline for so many businesses and workers in the hospitality sector, and we’re committed to making these expanded serving areas part of their long-term recovery and beyond,” Farnworth said in a release.
The province is authorizing these Temporary Expanded Service Areas for another seven months, through to June 1 of next year, and will continue to accept applications for new spaces until Oct. 31 of this year.
The changes will give businesses time to make their TESA authorizations permanent and prevent the risk of disrupting TESA use during the application process.
This will also ensure local governments and Indigenous Nations have more time to review applications for permanent structural changes before TESA authorizations expire.
“TESAs have been a make-or-break opportunity for so many operations struggling through these uncommon and difficult times,” Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said. “This timely announcement, and the certainty it will afford our members in the months and years ahead, are welcome news.”