VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Restrictions on indoor dining across B.C. could last up to May long weekend, according to the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
Ian Tostenson with the BCRFA says he and other industry stakeholders met with Dr. Bonnie Henry Tuesday, when she confirmed the restrictions set to expire on April 19 will be extended.
“It was the most straightforward, honest conversation and Dr. Henry said ‘look, the numbers in B.C. are not great.’ She said, ‘I feel sick about restaurants having to shut their indoor dining, but right now the numbers do not justify not extending the current health order.”
Tostenson admits that while the extension will be hard for the industry, he says the association entirely supports the decision.
Indoor dining is not returning to restaurants for a while longer. Statement below from the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association following a meeting w/the province's top doc. pic.twitter.com/kKWblhPxRr
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) April 14, 2021
On March 29, the province gave restaurants less than a day’s notice before implementing indoor restrictions. This time around, Tostenson says the industry has a heads up so no food goes to waste.
“It can help your employees transition to the next, three or four weeks,” he says.
“And by the time we get to May long weekend, we’re going to have vaccines in the system by June. These are Dr. Henry’s comments: every adult in British Columbia will have had their first vaccination likely. And the world is starting to change quite rapidly. So, this is the last tough medicine I think that this industry is going to face. And then we’ve got the long process of rebuilding.”
Tostenson adds Henry told industry stakeholders that when COVID-19 case numbers become “more favourable” there will be an opportunity to open up restaurants to indoor dining once again.
“There’s business owners that are in tears over this. There’s business owners that have nothing left. They don’t have any savings left,” he said. “But we’re all in this together was the message.”