Image: Fábio Alves | Unsplash
Soft openings with physical distancing and 50 patrons maximum are among the ideas on the table.
Apr 22, 2020 - EightSix Staff
With 180,000 of the province's 190,000 restaurant employees out of work, any talk of reopening the hospitality industry is positive news. However, much needs to be done before British Columbians can put their aprons on and get back to work.
Industry leaders are meeting this week with Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC's provincial health officer, to develop a plan to gradually phase in business operations while maintaining the health and safety of patrons and staff. Ideas to safely reopen the hospitality industry include reduced seating, increased space between tables, increased cleaning, disposable menus, masks and gloves for staff, and the use of patio seating.
Given the devastating toll that the temporary COVID-19 closure has had on restaurants so far, with many restaurants forced into permanent closure already, many more businesses would not survive a second closure should there be another widespread outbreak of the virus.
While restaurant workers and the general public are itching for a return to normalcy, the consequences of mishandling the relaunch are catastrophic for an industry that contributes $15 billion each year to the BC economy.
Provided patrons can still maintain two metres apart, restaurants may now allow more than 50% of their pre-COVID capacity.
Premier Doug Ford announced today that restaurants in the City of Toronto and Peel region may open June 24
Resorts, hotels, theatres, and the film industry may reopen while following WorkSaveBC guidelines.