City of Vancouver shuts down all restaurant table service, closes playgrounds, creates dedicated COVID-19 task force

THE City of Vancouver is issuing an order to shut down all restaurant table service as of midnight on Friday, March 20. Only takeout or delivery will be allowed, and any establishment found to be operating table service as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday will be subject to enforcement. All bars have already been closed as per the Provincial government order, province-wide.

Effective immediately, the Vancouver Park Board will be closing its playgrounds across the city in an effort to minimize public gatherings and the potential of risk to the community.

“I know that closing all food and beverage to everything but takeout or delivery will mean serious hardship for many people, workers and business owners, but we are acting now with one goal ― keeping people safe.” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “This new reality we are all experiencing will have significant economic impacts. That is why we are also looking at all options to provide immediate and medium-term local response and government advocacy. To all businesses and workers in Vancouver, we hear you and we will do everything we can to support you.”

In response to the COVID-19 emergency within our community, the City of Vancouver has also created a dedicated COVID-19 task force. The task force is being led by Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid who will report directly to City Manager Sadhu Johnston.

To ensure that daily Vancouver Fire and Rescue operations continue, Kiran Marohn, who is currently Deputy Fire Chief, is being appointed as Acting Fire Chief.

The City of Vancouver officially declared a local State of Emergency as a result of COVID-19 on March 19.

The declaration of a State of Emergency allows City staff to take additional measures to ensure the City of Vancouver has the resources needed to maintain essential services and meet the demands of other agencies, including Vancouver Coastal Health.

“Our teams have been doing phenomenal work to combat COVID-19 and protect the people of the City of Vancouver,” said City Manager Sadhu Johnston. “These extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Under Chief Reid’s leadership, the Covid-19 Task Force will coordinate all aspects of Covid-19 mitigation, response and recovery for the City of Vancouver. This gives us the capability to respond as rapidly as possible to this evolving situation.

We continue to evaluate our services, with focus on maintaining essential services such as police, fire, waste and sanitation, water, and community services for vulnerable people, and in the coming days we will be further scaling back on non-essential services,” Johnston added.

All closures and service delivery information can be found on the City’s web site at

The City noted: “We appreciate there is a lot of information circulating at this time, and not all of it is coming from verified sources. All updates from the City of Vancouver will be noted within our news releases, on our website and our verified social feeds. Residents are encouraged to follow @CityofVancouver on Twitter to receive the latest updates on COVID-19 response.”