Administrative changes to the province’s liquor licensing regulations will cut red tape and ensure the regulations better meet the needs of business owners.
The changes involve the setting of maximum occupancy numbers and more flexibility in converting restaurant space to lounge space.
Previously liquor licences required two maximum occupancy numbers, one set by the Office of the Fire Marshal and the other set by the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco division of Service Nova Scotia. From now on only the number assigned by the fire marshal will be required.
The second change will allow restaurants to convert restaurant space to lounge space at the time of their choosing (with approval from the Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco division). Minors will still not be permitted inside a lounge past 9 p.m. This law remains unchanged.
There are about 1,660 licensed establishments in Nova Scotia. The maximum occupancy change will only impact a small number. About 415 of these licensees operate an eating establishment with a lounge space.