New regulations for restaurants


Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new restrictions on Monday, March 29, as part of an attempt to reduce COVID-19 transmissions. The percentage of tests coming back positive has gone up by 50% and although the vaccine program is ahead of schedule, if we are not careful, we might ‘blow this’.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and food courts will not allow indoor dining until April 19, 11:59 p.m. Outdoor patio seating, take-out and delivery are allowed. But even when dining on patios, people will only be allowed to do so with their household. People who live alone, can only dine on patios with two people they are regularly in touch with and who are part of their core bubble. Two measures have to be kept in mind:

  1. When not at a table, one has to wear a mask.
  1. Events will no longer be allowed.

The COVID-19 Safety Plan and employee protocols must be in place at pubs, restaurants and bars. Inspections will be conducted by Worksafe BC to confirm that the COVID-19 Safety Plan is in effect. Establishments that do not comply with plan requirements may face disciplinary orders and fines. A possible referral to public health may also result in a closure order.

Masks are essential for everyone in many public indoor settings, including coffee shops. A face shield is not a suitable substitute for a mask as it has an opening below the mouth. There will be exceptions for a) people with physical, mental or cognitive conditions who cannot wear masks, b) people who are unable to take off a mask on their own, c) children under the age of 12, and d) people who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person’s hearing deficiency.

One might have to pay a fine of $230 for not wearing a mask in an indoor public setting or for engaging in abusive behaviour. 

With these simple but fruitful steps, together we can defeat COVID-19.

By Bartika Dutta

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