Liquor store hours extended to protect seniors, most vulnerable

THE government has temporarily extended hours of retail liquor service in British Columbia to provide greater opportunities for physical distancing for seniors and people who are immuno-compromised.

Liquor retailers, such as wine stores or private liquor stores, throughout the province are now allowed to temporarily operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily, if they choose to do so.

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.

Extending the hours of retail liquor service will support these businesses in complying with the requirements set out by the provincial health officer, the Ministry of Health and other authorities, including those related to physical distancing.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) issued a policy directive that temporarily extends hours of service for licensee retail stores, wine stores, special wine stores and liquor manufacturers with onsite store endorsements, while the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) has put into place measures that allow the same operating hours at rural agency stores.

Under the temporary directives, delivery services are also authorized to purchase liquor products on behalf of a customer from a liquor store, or any licensee authorized to sell in unopened containers, and to deliver and sell that liquor during these same hours.

The new policies are effective immediately and will remain in effect until July 15. These changes do not override any additional requirements or limitations placed on businesses regarding hours of liquor service by local governments or First Nations.