Jevon Li/ Staff Reporter
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge, the government has decided to extend the indoor dining restrictions to as far as May, leaving patios as the only option to dine at a restaurant for now.
“look, the numbers in B.C. are not great. I feel sick about restaurants having to shut their indoor dining, but right now the numbers do not justify not extending the current health order,” says Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia.
A lot of local business owners are not satisfied with the extension of the restrictions because that could potentially be catastrophic to their businesses.
Effect on Small Businesses
“We think that we could lose maybe 30 per cent of the industry,” says Ian Tostenson, the president and CEO of the BCRFA.
More and more small restaurants are starting to struggle financially or even shut down because they don’t have a patio. Even for the ones that have a patio for seats, they are not big enough to keep the businesses running. As a result, food waste is being produced more than ever and unemployment is inevitable. The ban not only jeopardizes the hospitality industry, but also the economy and people’s lives.
Not the Main Source of COVID-19 Outbreaks
According to Vancouver Sun news, Matt Thompson, an owner of multiple restaurants, claims that the Ministry of Health hasn’t provided enough evidence to support that COVID is spreading in restaurants. In fact, a lot of people share the same belief too.
“The transmissions aren’t coming from restaurants to our guests. The transmissions are within the social/staff environment in the industry,” says Tostensen.
Statistics show that exposure in restaurants is almost the lowest among all the places. Most of the outbreaks are from schools and households. Therefore, shutting down indoor dining in restaurants is completely pointless and not the solution to keep COVID-19 under control.
The extension of the restriction affects everyone in the society, it is hoped that the government will take measures on social gatherings instead of banning indoor dining since a lot of people are not following the rules and still going to events with lots of people.