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RMOW will consider expedited approval process for bars and restaurants looking to expand patio areas

Move meant to facilitate safe physical distancing during pandemic
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Earls Whistler was one of a handful of local restaurants that reopened their patio for service earlier this month. Instagram Photo / Earls Whistler

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is considering streamlining its review and approval process to allow local restaurants and bars to temporarily expand their patio areas during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Approved patio expansions would allow businesses to safely serve patrons while complying with physical distancing and capacity limitations ordered by the Provincial Health Officer related to COVID-19,” read a May 28 release.

A report to council is scheduled for June 9 and will include recommendations “for the long-term protection of this important sector of Whistler’s economy.” Until then, establishments are asked to only operate within their existing patio capacity.

The RMOW is currently in talks with the Restaurant Association of Whistler, select food and beverage operators, and neighbourhood representatives to get a sense of the potential impacts.

The steps required to expedite the municipal approval process include integrating the RMOW’s existing development permit and liquor licence approval processes with the expedited processes recently announced by the province enabling food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as breweries, to apply to temporarily expand their service areas until Oct. 31, 2020.

On May 19, restaurants and patios across B.C. were permitted to resume in-person dining under strict guidelines, including operating at a maximum of 50-per-cent capacity; allowing groups of up to six people, with each group seated at least two metres apart; and drafting and posting a COVID-19 safety plan.

Stay up to date with which local establishments are currently operating by visiting cdn.whistler.com/s3/pdf/covid-19-business-impact-whistler.pdf.




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