'A bit difficult to explain': Business owners question COVID-19 rules limiting dancing as other restrictions lift
While capacity limits on many indoor venues in parts of B.C. will ease next week, dancing is still prohibited, which some owners say will continue to hurt their business.
B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, says dancing at nightclubs and at indoor weddings still isn't allowed, even though other restrictions at venues are lifting on Tuesday.
"I know it's going to be hardest, particularly, for nightclubs and some of the bars where this is an important part of the atmosphere," Henry said during her weekly COVID-19 update.
Members of the industry, however, are hoping the province will reconsider that rule.
"It's a bit difficult to explain to folks why you can have a concert with 10,000 people where everyone's congregating together or a hockey game and yet I can't with 100 people in a nightclub," said Jeff Guignard of the BC Alliance of Beverage Licensees.
"But it's a gradual, phased reopening and I've often said there's no point in looking for logic in some of these rules, we're all just doing the best we can … our commitment will be to keep dance floors closed and do our best to manage our patron behaviours."
Business owners have also raised questions about enforcement, like what exactly is considered dancing and whether people can dance at their individual tables.
Dave Kershaw, owner of the Cabana Lounge, said the rules are costing his business tens of thousands of dollars.
"People have, in the last few weeks, really started to cancel their reservations because they felt they went and got vaccinated to have a proper experience at a nightclub," Kershaw said.
Henry said she hopes people, especially those who have their vaccine card, will continue to support local businesses.
"We are absolutely continuing to monitor," Henry said on Tuesday. "I hope to be able to take off more restrictions as we get through the next few months, but it's going to be a challenge for all of us."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Travis Prasad