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How some nightclubs plan to reopen in B.C.
A new poll shows that 25 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 say they have increased the amount of alcohol they drink while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VANCOUVER -- It may come as a surprise to some, but several B.C. nightclubs are preparing to reopen this week after being closed for months due to COVID-19.
The decision to reopen comes despite previous suggestions from health officials that clubs would be part of Phase 4 of the provincial restart plan.
Some business owners have repurposed their spaces to meet the guidelines in place for restaurants and pubs, which reopened two weeks ago with added safety measures.
This Saturday, Studio Nightclub on Vancouver's Granville Street hopes to do the same.
The club posted a video on Facebook promoting its first day back in March. The club says it's implemented health and safety policies including keeping tables two metres apart.
Reservations are mandatory at the club, and there's a maximum of six people per group.
Clubs in the Okanagan have already opened their doors, including places like Liquid Zoo.
The Kelowna club has put up barriers between tables and around its stage.
Live music is returning to pubs across the province, including The Queen's in Nanaimo. That pub and venue says it's added markings on the floor and other safety measures.
But B.C.'s provincial health officer warns that singing can spread the virus.
"We're seeing it … in places like South Korea, where in nightclubs, where people are singing and dancing, are talking loudly, in an area where there's an enclosed environment and lots of people," Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
While some clubs are choosing to open early, it doesn't appear the Granville Strip is returning to normal just yet. Many businesses are still behind boards, opting to wait for Phase 4.
However, the loophole may be welcome news to thousands in the industry who've been without work for months.
The Hospitality Vancouver Association has predicted 90 per cent of Vancouver's nightlife businesses are at risk of closing their doors for good.