Many BC businesses have begun reopening after COVID-19 closures. In Phase 2 of the BC restart plan, BC Liquor Primary Licensees, Food Primary Licensees, Manufacturers (e.g. wineries and breweries), and Wine Stores all face reopening challenges unique to their operation. WorkSafe BC has published COVID-19 restart guidelines to help businesses prepare to reopen.
Regardless of the type of liquor license you hold, you’ll have to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan which outlines policies and procedures you’ve put in place to keep employees (including contractors) and customers safe. The safety plan must be posted at the worksite and on the company website (if the business has one). Employers must involve staff, health and safety committees, and supervisors in identifying and developing safety protocols. Although you don’t need to submit your plan to WorkSafe BC, Inspectors may phone your business and ask questions, or make unannounced on-site visits to ensure a safety plan is in place and being followed.
Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors works with Liquor Primary Licensees, Food Primary Licensees, Manufactures and Wine Stores to develop protocols specific to your business that follow the WorkSafe BC COVID-19 Safety Plan template. The six steps of developing a safety plan are as follows:
See “Guide to reducing the risk of COVID-19” on this page of the WorkSafe BC website.
The six steps above seem simple enough, although there are many considerations for each step, and industry-specific guidelines. Working in conjunction with managers, supervisors and other staff, Thrive will assess your business and develop a reopening plan that keeps employees and the public safe while adhering to safety plan requirements and provincial orders.
While businesses in BC that are reopening after COVID-19 closure must create and adhere to a safety plan, WorkSafe BC has also published industry-specific protocols as an aid to creating a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Businesses must also stay informed of notices, orders and guidelines issued by the Provincial Health Officer.
WorkSafe BC reopening protocols relevant to liquor licensees are as follows:
Protocols include information on table service, kitchen operation, and delivery. View protocols.
Protocols include information on store layout and occupancy limits, welcoming and monitoring customers, deliveries, stocking, and product display, assisting customers, payment and till area, and more. View protocols.
BC Liquor License Types & Industry Specific Reopening Guidelines
|BC LIQUOR LICENSE TYPE||REQUIRED PLANS & PROTOCOLS|
|COVID-19 Safety Plan||Protocols for Restaurants, Cafes & Pubs||Retail Protocols|
|Liquor Primary||Required||Should consider protocols||N/A|
|Food Primary||Required||Should consider protocols||N/A|
|Manufacturer||Required||Should consider if operating a lounge or tasting room||Should consider if there is an on-site retail store|
|Wine Store/Specialty Wine Store||Required||N/A||Should consider|
If you are a BC liquor licensee with a Liquor Primary License, Food Primary License, Manufacturer’s, or Wine Store License, and you’d like expert guidance reopening your business, let’s talk! Rebecca Hardin at Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors has worked with many licensees to create and implement reopening policies and protocols. Get your operation up and running again in no time!