B.C. restaurants are slated to reopen to indoor dining for the first time in nearly a month Tuesday, May 25. (Unsplash)

B.C. restaurants are slated to reopen to indoor dining for the first time in nearly a month Tuesday, May 25. (Unsplash)

B.C. restaurants gearing up to welcome patrons indoors Tuesday

‘Restrictions end at midnight Monday so service Tuesday will be wide open,’ says B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices president

Restaurants are gearing up to reopen indoor dining for the first time in more than a month and a half, the head of B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association says.

“They’re expecting to reopen Tuesday,” CEO Ian Tostenson told Black Press Media.

This, after Premier John Horgan said current “circuit breaker” COVID-19 restrictions will end as scheduled May 25.

“The circuit breaker will be over and a road map will be laid out for all British Columbians to see,” Horgan said at a Thursday press conference.

RELATED: Horgan: B.C.’s post-COVID-19 road map to be revealed Tuesday

Tostenson has been telling restaurant owners and staff to ready themselves to welcome customers back inside their establishments.

“Restrictions end at midnight Monday so service Tuesday will be wide open.”

The important thing, he said, is that businesses reopen with the same safety protocols as early spring, when bars and eateries served indoor diners.

“That means only six people at a table, distancing between tables and masks.”

READ ALSO: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said restrictions will be lifted “slowly,” that the end of the long weekend will not mean a return to pre-COVID times.

“Nothing is going to be back to 100 per cent on Tuesday,” she said.

Tostenson is hopeful that as COVID-19 vaccination rates in the province increase, restrictions imposed on restaurants ease.

“The industry is excited,” he said.

“Some owners are hesitant to reopen but many – especially those who have continued to serve customers on their patios – are excited.”

READ MORE: B.C. restaurant group warns members to follow COVID rules – or shut down



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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