VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Lottery Corporation has announced that prize winners will have more time to pick up their winnings to ensure people can comply with proper physical distancing rules.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, BCLC encourages players to put their health and safety first by following the provincial health officer's directions," BCLC said in a news release.

The 183-day extension will apply to all national and B.C. draw-based games and scratch-and-win tickets that expire between March 17 and Sept. 17, 2020, BCLC announced on Tuesday. This includes Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max and Daily Grand, as well as Keno, BC/49, BC 50/50, Poker Lotto and Pacific Hold'Em Poker. The expiry dates for scratch-and-win and draw-based lottery tickets that do not fall between those dates will remain at 12 months from the date of the draw or as printed on the back of the ticket.

"BCLC and the other Canadian provincial lottery jurisdictions that comprise the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation have made these changes in recognition that physical-distancing requirements to help stop the spread of COVID-19 may affect our players’ ability to claim prizes," said BCLC.

All of the province's casinos were shut down in March and will remain closed until the province says it is safe for them to reopen.

BCLC's prize payout locations in Kamloops and Vancouver have also been closed since March 18.