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

B.C. researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring the bat population. (Cathy Koot photo)
Semiahmoo Peninsula residents asked to monitor bat activity

Researchers keeping eye on spread of white-nose syndrome

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The Alzheimer Society of BC is hosting a number of webinars next month to help people prepare for financial and healthcare needs. (Contributed photo)
Alzheimer Society invites White Rock residents to series of educational webinars

Planning Ahead: Do it Now! webinar to be held March 10

South Surrey’s Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann – the Bergmann Piano Duo – will present another colorful Surrey Civic Theatres Digital Stage concert., premiering online March 11. Contributed photo
South Surrey pianists Bergmann Duo blend musical colours

Rhapsody In Blue meets The Red Violin in online concert

St. John Ambulance is looking for financial support in its bid to install 1,000 publicly accessible AED devices throughout British Columbia. The stands which hold the defibrillator also contain naloxone and first aid kits. Cost to equip and install each stand is around $8,000. (stock photo)
St. John Ambulance aims to install 1,000 publicly accessible AEDs across B.C.

First of two defibrillators planned for Crescent Beach already in place

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Lorne Ginther

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

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

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Judith Uwamahoro is Black, approximately 4’7″ tall, 80 pounds and has short black hair and brown eyes. (Surrey RCMP handout)
UPDATED: Lower Mainland 9-year-old located after police make public plea

Judith Uwamahoro went missing Friday at around 4 p.m. in Surrey

Most Read