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Closed hospitality businesses given green light to sell liquor stock during pandemic

The province says it’s “providing temporary relief” to hospitality licensees who have had to close due to the pandemic.

They’ll now be allowed to sell their existing liquor stock to other licensees that are still operating, and/or to private liquor stores.

According to the province, these changes “will provide immediate financial relief” for licensees unable to meet the guidelines and mandates established by the provincial health officer, by allowing them to liquidate some inventory.

The temporary authorization from the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) was requested by the Business and Technical Advisory Panel, a group of liquor industry leaders, as a way of supporting the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This authorization is set to expire on July 15th. 

However, as the pandemic is an evolving situation, LDB will review this and other temporary authorizations as necessary.

Government has introduced other temporary actions in support of the hospitality industry, including:

  • authorizing all food-primary and most liquor-primary establishments to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products for off-site consumption alongside the purchase of a meal, 
  • and allowing the expansion of service areas and patios so businesses can continue observing the provincial health officer’s mandates as they begin to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
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