VICTORIA -- The B.C. government is expanding the hours private liquor stores and manufacturers can operate in to allow for greater physical distancing during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The province says the move will help seniors and those who are immune-compromised avoid contracting the virus.

In a statement Wednesday, the government announced that private liquor and wine retailers will be allowed to operate between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day.

"These time-limited measures should provide seniors and immuno-compromised populations the opportunity to buy liquor during early shopping hours already being provided by other retailers, such as grocery stores," B.C.'s Ministry of Attorney General said.

The temporary change applies to liquor stores, wine stores, breweries, wineries and distilleries.

The move also allows delivery services to buy alcohol for customers and sell it during the same hours.

The temporary change will remain in effect until July 15.