A man walks past a McDonald’s restaurant with boarded up windows that has been closed due to the coronavirus, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Plan in the works for safe re-opening of B.C. restaurants amid COVID-19: BCRFA

Group of restaurateurs from around B.C. to show preliminary plan to health officials

As B.C. health officials pledge to ease social contact restrictions – so long as the number of COVID-19 transmissions continue to drop – a group of restaurant operators have been tasked with crafting a plan at how to reopen the food industry.

The group includes a cross-section of independent restaurants, chains and franchises including both licensed and not licensed establishments, according to a news release from the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

“We recognize that it is imperative that the plan has to address consumer and employee confidence while ensuring significant public safety. It is our intention to exceed both,” association CEO Ian Tostenson said in a statement.

Tostenson added that reopening will likely be a multi-stage process with stepped adherence to physical distancing protocols that could be lessened with time.

READ MORE: Businesses must be part of the re-opening plan when COVID-19 rules relax: Dr. Henry

ALSO READ: Summer events, parades, large weddings off the table this summer: Henry

The group will present a preliminary plan to B.C. officials next week.

Amid a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, health officials closed restaurants to dine-in guests on March 20 under the Provincial Health Act. Since then, some have adapted to serving takeout or delivery, while others have had to shutter doors until further notice.

This week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reiterated that the province is entering the “halfway point” of the immediate pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. could see some COVID-19 restrictions eased by mid-May: Health officials

Premier John Horgan said the government is preparing for an early-May address to the province on moving into the summer if B.C. sees a “manageable number” of daily cases. Henry has continued her policy of avoiding firm predictions of specific numbers around how many cases will allow for restrictions to ease, as well as any particular dates.

Tostenson said reintroducing restaurants back into daily life will likely involve operations “unlike anything we have ever experienced before” but called them “necessary” to build public confidence under new strict operational disciplines.

“We believe that the industry will come out stronger, a little different. Restaurateurs will continue to have safety and the guest experience at heart,” Tostenson said. “It was humbling and gratifying to have received a call from Premier John Horgan encouraging the initiative taken by this group.”

ALSO READ: ‘Not a sprint, a marathon’: As Canada’s COVID-19 case counts slow, deaths climb


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusrestaurant

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City cancels plans for homeless camp on Homewood Road; exploring alternative option

Cancellation comes as a surprise after city official discusses topic a day earlier

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

SRD rejects ex-board member’s request to continue as Tlowitsis TAC representative

Area D director, Brenda Leigh, takes over as SRD’s representative after ex-Sayward mayor, John MacDonald’s exit

Music education remains important, especially during pandemic

‘Music really does lift people up in times of trial,’ says Sandowne music teacher

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Habitat for Humanity VIN wins national award for innovative approach to building

Courtenay and Campbell River builds represent 400 per cent growth in historical annual average

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read