Sweet Hoopla is one eatery in Vernon that took advantage of the patio program last spring. (City of Vernon photo)

Sweet Hoopla is one eatery in Vernon that took advantage of the patio program last spring. (City of Vernon photo)

City of Vernon issues reminder of outdoor dining guidelines

Measures are in place to allow for the temporary expansion of patios, other outdoor operations

In light of Monday’s provincewide announcement halting indoor dining, the City of Vernon is reminding residents of the measures in place to allow local shopping to continue safely.

“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.”

The city is holding to the measures council previously adopted to allow businesses to temporarily expand their outdoor operations, with some updates made.

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 practising 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 Oct. 31, 2021.

A number of free, 10-minute curbside pickup zones have also been set up in the downtown core, allowing customers of nearby restaurants, retailers, and other businesses to quickly and safely pick up purchases.

Cumming said the TOCU program has been helpful in maintaining social distancing while allowing business to continue in the city.

“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,” he said.

To take part in the TOCU program, businesses need to enter into a use agreement with the city and follow a list of guidelines but won’t need to get a permit or pay a fee.

For more information, visit vernon.ca/covid-19/ or contact buildingcounter@vernon.ca.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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