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Alberta restaurant ordered to close after accepting dog photos instead of proof of vaccination

Granary Kitchen owner says it was a staff issue, not restaurant policy
Alberta Health Services issued a partial closure order to the Granary Kitchen on Friday, Jan 14, 2022. (Red Deer Advocate)

A locally owned restaurant in Red Deer has been partially closed by Alberta Health Services (AHS).

A temporary order to close indoor dining was issued to the Granary Kitchen in south Red Deer Friday, according to AHS.

According to the notice, patrons and attendees of the establishment were not being screened properly for proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a COVID-19 test result.

“Specifically, complaints were received by the undersigned Executive Officer indicating that employees are allowing patrons to dine-in when presented with a photograph of a dog and personal identification,” the order noted.

An inspection was conducted on Jan. 11 and the complaints were validated by two test shoppers.

“The test shoppers entered the premises at separate times. In both instances, facility staff used a tablet to make it appear as if they were scanning a QR code when in fact the staff member was presented with a photograph of a dog. The staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine-in services,” the order read.

A verbal order to close indoor dining was issued to the establishment Friday.

Patrick Malkin, owner of the Granary Kitchen told the Advocate it was a staffing issue and it had already been dealt with as of Friday afternoon.

“This was a staff issue and not a company policy,” Malkin said. “It’s already been addressed.”

The restaurant must submit a written plan and commitment to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program and provide all staff with training on how to properly implement the program, according to AHS.

They must also provide written confirmation that all staff are trained and understand the implementation requirements of the REP.

According to the notice, indoor dining will be closed until that time.

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