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B.C. bars and restaurants get pass to stay open longer during FIFA World Cup

But they can only serve liquor during their regular hours.
There will be no change to the hours of liquor sales and service. Bars, pubs and restaurants will be able to stay open and serve non-alcoholic drinks during the extended hours.

Bar and pubs have permission from the B.C. government to extend their hours during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this month — but they can't serve alcohol during the extension. 

According to a statement released Monday, the hospitality sector is allowed to temporarily extend their operating hours during the sporting event.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, says there will be no change to the hours of liquor sales; only non-alcoholic drinks can be offered during the extended hours.

"This is the first time that Canada has qualified for the World Cup since 1986,” says Farnworth. 

"In recognition of this, liquor primary establishments can extend their hours so soccer fans can support their team in a positive way with other fans, while also supporting the economic recovery of the hospitality sector coming out of the pandemic.”

The World Cup runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18. Due to a 10-hour time difference, games will be on during the early morning hours in B.C. 

I'm a liquor-primary establishment. What does this news mean for me?

Liquor-primary establishments will be required to close their doors for one hour after the end of liquor service.

"Patrons will not be allowed to enter the establishment until this hour (at a minimum) has passed," the government says in a press release. 

Staff note that restaurants who fall into this category don't need to notify the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch of their intention to extend operating hours. 

Meanwhile, licensed restaurants are not required to close as they currently have the operational ability to stay open 24 hours; however, they'll still be required to follow the liquor-service rule. 

Canada's first match is against Belgium on Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. PST. 

This isn't the first time B.C. has allowed the hospitality sector to stay open longer. It did the same for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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