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

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

(Black Press Media photo)
Geriatric psychiatrist stresses importance of senior mental health

Dr. Hem Phaterpekar talks hope and healthy living amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey, Langley twin brothers who own companies together battle in court

Presiding judge described Surrey resident Kerry Hawley and Langley resident Kelly Petersen as ‘self-made successes’

Aldergrove Library (Aldergrove Star files)
Aldergrove library hopes to reintroduce senior’s programming later in the year

Zoom gatherings including author talks, book clubs, and knitting groups are in the works

Aldergrove Star files
Township of Langley opens up volunteer award nominations

Awards for youth, coaches, and ‘Langley life enhancers’ are up for grabs

H.D. Stafford Middle School has recorded its second COVID-19 exposure since the resumption of classes in January. (Google Map)
H.D. Stafford Middle School records another COVID-19 exposure

This is the second reported case since resumption of classes in January

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

Screenshot from video.
2 students arrested in assault of transgender girl at Lower Mainland school

Mother says daughter was targeted because of how she identifies

Most Read