Measures in place to continue shopping local and supporting local in Vernon

Vernon

Yesterday (March 29), B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) announced enhanced province-wide restrictions to address rising COVID-19 case counts across the province. The updated measures include the temporary suspension of indoor dining for restaurants, pubs and bars.

“We are more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and it has likely felt like a rollercoaster for most of our business operators – particularly those in the food and beverage sector,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Please remember the impacts, some severe, of this pandemic have been different for each of us.”

“Even though we have experienced many regulatory shifts in the last 12 months and businesses have put enhanced protection measures in place, we are all still navigating a dynamic situation. So, I strongly encourage everyone to continue following the health precautions, shopping local and supporting local as we move forward.”   

The City would like to remind residents and businesses of the measures Council has put in place to allow businesses to temporarily extend their operations outdoors, and provide short-term parking solutions for curbside pickup in areas of town that have on-street paid parking.

  • Vernon businesses can participate in the Temporary Outdoor Commercial Use (TOCU) program, allowing them to extend their operations into private parking lots, sidewalks or parking stalls, so customers and staff can continue practicing physical distancing. Restaurants may use this space to create outdoor patios.
  • Businesses with liquor licenses have been pre-approved to have their licenses extended into the above-mentioned temporary spaces until October 31, 2021.
  • A number of free, 10-minute curbside pickup zones have been implemented in the downtown core, allowing customers of nearby restaurants, retailers, and other businesses to quickly and safely pick up purchases.

“Through the Temporary Outdoor Commercial Use program, the City is helping our community maintain physical distancing,” said Mayor Cumming. “We have also heard from many residents and business owners that the curbside pickup zones have been very well utilized, keeping shopping local safe, fast and simple.”

To participate in the TOCU program, businesses must enter into a Use Agreement with the City and follow a set of guidelines, but they will not need to get a permit or pay a fee. For information on the guidelines and the process to implement the measures please visit vernon.ca/covid-19/ or contact buildingcounter@vernon.ca.

Downtown curbside pickup locations are marked by signs on parking metres and can be found on the City’s interactive map. The exact locations may change time to time, as conditions change.

Below is an example of a local business taking part in the Temporary Outdoor Commercial Use program in summer 2020.