Dr Henry and Premier Horgan would not discuss the restaurant reopening during Thursday’s briefing, but an industry group offered firm advice.
On Friday, May 21, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association CEO and President Ian Tostenson told members of the industry that restaurants “may open Tuesday, May 25 for indoor dining.”
Tostenson was speaking via the BCRFA industry newsletter. He then advises restaurateurs, operators and employees to “revert to the protocols and restrictions that were in place on March 29, 2021” if they open their doors to customers on Tuesday.
However, while the specific public health order regarding indoor dining was only put in place until the end of the Victoria Day holiday, during a press briefing on Thursday 20 May, Premier John Horgan and health chief Dr. Bonnie Henry explain what Tuesday – and beyond – could look like for businesses and individuals affected by the current restrictions.
Specifically, Horgan and Henry were reminded during Thursday’s question-and-answer session that the BCRFA and other industry stakeholders had urged BC health officials and the government to educate restaurant owners more about restrictions.
Earlier communications from the BCRFA to members indicated that consultations were taking place in early May.
“The BCRFA and our industry colleagues have been having conversations with our provincial health office about reopening businesses as of May 25, when the current order expires,” the newsletter read. May 6 industry news from the BCRFA. “We expressed the need for restaurants to know in advance where the province is going due to the need to bring back staff and food orders etc. “
Henry and others had already been careful not to say explicitly that the province’s health orders would not be extended. She said on May 17 that “nothing will come back 100%. Tuesday won’t be a switch. It will be a dimmer. “
During Thursday’s briefing, Horgan specifically said that “the breaker will be over” Tuesday and that a new roadmap for British Columbia will be presented in the daily afternoon briefing on May 25.
Horgan also declined at that time to discuss specific industries, such as restaurants and food services, citing the need to treat all affected industries at the same time for the sake of fairness.
Tuesday’s briefing is expected to result in BC restaurants – many of which may choose to open to customers indoors earlier in the day, per BCRFA guidelines – details in the ” reboot of British Columbia 2.0 ”and specifics on the end of“ breaker ”. “Means to them.
With files from Glen Korstrom and Elana Shepert