On March 20, B.C.’s top doctor issued a public health order banning restaurants from dine-in service, sending them scrambling to adapt to take-out or delivery models only.
Provence Marinaside, a waterfront restaurant in Yaletown, had to lay off 100 employees — 90 per cent of its staff — as it tried to come up with creative ways to stay in business. It’s adjusted to the new reality offering take-out and delivery but is eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to throw back open its doors.
The industry has already been told to come up with innovative ways to operate safely. Quaglia embraces the challenge and points out they’ve been self-imposing strict safety measures all along.
“Our chefs are wearing masks in the kitchen, even though it’s technically not a regulation. We have sanitizing stations everywhere, we’re physically distancing … so we’ve already been doing this for eight weeks, and so far so good.”
While some welcome broad direction, others are pushing for more detailed criteria — especially around the question of re-opening patios.
Most malls and department stores shut their doors mid-March, but some smaller retail outlets have remained open while keeping crowds to fewer than 50 people and ensuring physical distancing.
Murchie’s Tea and Coffee currently has closed all but three of its nine B.C. locations, and even the ones that are still open have seen a 70 per cent decrease in customers.
“It’s very difficult to run a business when you don’t know what’s going on and you don’t know the timing of what’s going on,” said managing director Grant Kubler, who’s looking for two things from Wednesday’s roll-out: certainty and dates.
“If we need to have sneeze guards up at all our stores and specific mechanisms for physical distancing, for example, nothing will open right away but we can work toward a gradual reopening.”
There has been widespread uncertainty for parents, students and teachers as questions loom about how and when schools will begin to reintroduce in-class learning.
Many schools are anticipating how that will look, with possible changes like staggered classes, rotating start times, smaller groups, enhanced cleaning, or sanitization stations.
Surrey schools superintendent Jordan Tinney is anticipating broader guidance on health measures in particular, like instructions to limit movement within a school.
“Adherence to physical distancing, which very young children will find challenging…. Are we past things like the day when everyone had a locker, which are side-by-side?”
Many of those same questions surrounding safety of kids overflow into youth sports leagues as well. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has already suggested little leagues can resume this summer.
But Coquitlam Little League Baseball president Sandon Fraser wonders how feasible that will be.
“How do we know how many kids can be on the field at one time? How many of their parents can be in attendance to watch them?”
He understands the game is going to look a lot different and questions how that will look with not being able to share equipment.
“Is there going to be any opportunity for funding to either support some of the additional equipment we’re going to have to purchase? Or even the cleaning and sanitation supplies we’re going to need to make sure our kids stay safe,” he said.
From cruise ships to mass tour groups, B.C.’s tourism industry is bracing for a major hit. Provincial parks remain closed, but some campgrounds are hopeful they’ll still be able to reopen in time to catch peak season.
Bradsdadsland Campground on Hornby Island is heeding the recommendation of the Island Health Authority to temporarily close down, and has cancelled all reservations until mid-June.
“The islands would then rely on a 10-week season; that last week of June, all of July, all of August, and the first week of September…. If we can’t make a dollar then, we’re not going to make a dollar at all,” said manager Martin Cree.
He’s hopeful a restart date won’t be far off, pointing out camping is naturally conducive to physical distancing.
“That part is not an issue; but are they going to restrict it to self-contained RVs or are they going to permit campers in tents?”
Original Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-s-reopening-plans-are-coming-here-is-what-5-sectors-want-to-know-1.5557183