B.C. restaurants prepare for return of indoor dining Tuesday amid mixed messages from officials
VANCOUVER -- The restaurant industry is preparing to reopen indoor dining Tuesday morning, amid mixed messages coming from B.C. officials.
The province’s “circuit breaker” restrictions are set to expire at midnight Tuesday, and Premier John Horgan was blunt when asked Thursday what British Columbians can expect when the government unveils its restart plan.
"They can expect on Tuesday that the circuit breaker will be over, and a road map will be laid out for all British Columbians to see," Horgan said.
The circuit breaker measures, which came into effect on March 29, include the province's bans on indoor dining and indoor group fitness activities.
But there is some confusion over when indoor dining can resume. Ian Tostenson, President of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Association, believes restaurants can open their doors Tuesday morning after the orders expire.
“The reality is the health orders being off gives restaurants permission to open on Tuesday,” Tostenson said. “We’ve asked the industry to open with the protocols they had in place before the close, so that’s the distancing, stay with your bubble for now until we hear otherwise.”
Health Minister Adrian Dix tweeted Friday, saying details of B.C.’s restart plan will be shared during Tuesday afternoon’s news conference, adding “there are no changes for individuals or businesses until that time.”
Carl McCreath, president of restaurant operations for Steamworks Restaurant Group, is among the business owners planning to welcome customers indoors Tuesday.
“I figured circuit breaker’s over Tuesday,” McCreath told CTV News. “It was not crystal clear, but we feel like it’s clear enough that we’re going to get the dining rooms ready and if we get told to suddenly put the brakes on it, then we will.”
McCreath runs Steamworks Brewpub in Gastown and three venues under the Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar name. The location at Waterfront near the Vancouver Convention Centre will open on Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic started.