St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Vancouver are set to take a massive hit this year. Mayor Kennedy Stewart has confirmed that all bars and restaurants in the downtown core have been ordered to shut down for Vancouver St. Patrick's Day. As of now, these closures are only slated to last for one night, on Tuesday, March 17.
Mayor Stewart retweeted a message reading, "BREAKING — Mayor Kennedy & health minister order ALL bars & restaurants in Downtown Vancouver CLOSED for St. Patricks Day to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread."
The original tweet was shared by Lynda Steele, a reporter from CKNY talk show.
Business in Vancouver reported that Vancouver Coastal Health was responsible for directing this shutdown.
City News explained that the closure is set to affect all the bars and restaurants located between Stanley Park and Main Street as well as the area between Burrard Inlet and False Creek. However, specific boundaries have not been announced as of this morning.
Mayor Stewart has confirmed that this is an official order, so failure to comply with shutdowns will be considered an offence. Vancouver Police officers and bylaw officers will be enforcing this order throughout the night.
City News also explained that the decision to order these closures was made after discussions with health minister, Dr. Adrian Dix.
BREAKING - Mayor @kennedystewart & health minister @adriandix order ALL bars & restaurants in Downtown Vancouver CL… https://t.co/1UcObnb8uq— Lynda Steele 🎙 (@Lynda Steele 🎙)1584406671.0
On Monday, March 16, the B.C. Government announced that they are banning gatherings over 50 people. In addition, the provincial government is urging the public to practice social distancing during this public health crisis.
According to CTV News, reports of this ban have already led many businesses and institutions across the city to close down indefinitely, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Public Library, and Science World.
Business in Vancouver also announced that the Donnelly Group, who own and operate over 12 establishments in the city, have shut down their locations indefinitely.
City News also mentioned how earlier on Monday, the mayor asked that bars and restaurants limit the number of patrons during this time, although it's not seen as an official order just yet.
According to Global News, the mayor confirmed that the penalties would be significant if any bars and restaurants are found not to abide by this shutdown.