If you’ve invested your time, money and considerable energy into getting an Alberta liquor license application approval, you’ll want to remain compliant. Unless you’re willing to risk a forced closure and/or fine, compliance is critical. Easier said than done during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Alberta restaurants, bars, pubs and lounges much harder than businesses in other sectors, such as retail. Unlike Alberta liquor and cannabis retailers, businesses that serve alcohol don’t enjoy essential service status and the protection it provides.
Alberta has been hit hard by COVID-19, more so than other western provinces. The The province saw cases surge toward the end of 2020 – with over 1879 cases reported on a single day. According to CBC News Alberta,
In response the surge in cases and deaths, on December 8, liquor service businesses were again forced to close for in-person patrons. If the restrictions already in place weren’t enough for Alberta liquor license holders, another closure would be, at least for some business owners, desperate to remain afloat and tired of their sector being targeted by closures. The growing frustration resulted in some business owners opening their eatery or bar in protest. Forced closures and fines for non-compliance soon followed.
It seems that the protest may have had some effect on political decision making. Effective February 8, 2021, bars, pubs, lounges and restaurants were allowed to reopen for in-person service (with restrictions).
Both cases and deaths have seen a sharp decline since the peak back in December, and today (February 22) saw 285 new cases reported with a 7-day average of 330 cases. With increased vaccination, adherence to public health guidelines, and the effects of the recent closure, with any luck another surge (like that experienced in December) is a thing of the past.
With Alberta’s frequently changing public health orders, guidelines, and restrictions, it’s important to stay current, so your business can remain compliant and protected from AGLC enforcement closures, fines, or worse, revocation of your Alberta liquor license.
The following Alberta public health orders and AGLC COVID-19 guidelines are updated each time the orders and guidelines change:
Whether you need help with an Alberta liquor license application or need a trusted advisor to help steer your liquor or cannabis business toward success, contact Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors. Rebecca Hardin is a leading liquor and cannabis licensing and operations consultant with a reputation for rolling up her sleeves and getting it done.
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