Restaurants are gearing up to reopen indoor dining for the first time in more than a month and a half, the head of B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association says.
“They’re expecting to reopen Tuesday,” CEO Ian Tostenson told Black Press Media.
This, after Premier John Horgan said current “circuit breaker” COVID-19 restrictions will end as scheduled May 25.
“The circuit breaker will be over and a road map will be laid out for all British Columbians to see,” Horgan said at a Thursday press conference.
Tostenson has been telling restaurant owners and staff to ready themselves to welcome customers back inside their establishments.
“Restrictions end at midnight Monday so service Tuesday will be wide open.”
The important thing, he said, is that businesses reopen with the same safety protocols as early spring, when bars and eateries served indoor diners.
“That means only six people at a table, distancing between tables and masks.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said restrictions will be lifted “slowly,” that the end of the long weekend will not mean a return to pre-COVID times.
“Nothing is going to be back to 100 per cent on Tuesday,” she said.
Tostenson is hopeful that as COVID-19 vaccination rates in the province increase, restrictions imposed on restaurants ease.
“The industry is excited,” he said.
“Some owners are hesitant to reopen but many – especially those who have continued to serve customers on their patios – are excited.”
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