A man wears a protective face mask as he walks past a opened restaurant patio on Granville Street in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. British Columbia has entered into phase 2 of the provinces re-start plan allowing some business to reopen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A man wears a protective face mask as he walks past a opened restaurant patio on Granville Street in Vancouver, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. British Columbia has entered into phase 2 of the provinces re-start plan allowing some business to reopen. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

COVID-19: Restaurants no longer limited to 50% capacity for dine-in guests

Buffets are also able to reopen, according to the updated provincial health order

B.C.’s top doctor has removed capacity limitations for restaurants as one of a handful of changes to her COVID-19 provincial health order for the food industry.

The new order removes the 50 per cent capacity restriction, instead allowing operators to determine their capacity so long as guests are able to physically distance by at least two metres.

ALSO WATCH: WorkSafe BC increases inspections by 50% as businesses reopen

“This will support the work we accomplished on patio extensions, those restaurants who are expanding their patios will now be able to come closer to their licensed capacity numbers with the use of a larger patio while still abiding by social distancing requirements,” the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association said in a statement to its members.

Other changes include a more clear direction on the use of plexiglass as a separator, which can be used if they are washable, rigid and impermeable, the order says.

Buffet and self-serve stations are also now allowed to be reopened, provided that adequate hand-sanitizing stations are placed nearby.

Restaurants and pubs across the province – both big and small – have been allowed to reopen to dine-in guests for just over three weeks as part of Phase Two in B.C.’s Restart Plan.

ALSO READ: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests again, but what will that look like?

In mid-May, the province announced it would streamline patio applications for B.C. restaurants, wineries and pubs until October.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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