Restaurant industry disappointed with new restrictions in Manitoba
WINNIPEG -- Restaurants and bars in Winnipeg are facing another round of restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially the most severe.
Starting on Monday, Nov. 2, all bars and restaurants must close for dine-in service as part of the Code Red restrictions in the Winnipeg Metro Region. Take-out and delivery options will still be allowed, as well as drive-thru services for larger chains that have them.
Shaun Jeffrey, executive director of the Manitoba Restaurant and Food Service Association, said the news is disappointing.
“It’s another further restriction to our industry, further detriment to an industry that’s already starving and already drowning,” he said.
Jeffrey said the biggest concern for the industry is the lack of notice from the province regarding the changes. He said even though restaurants have been under strict restrictions for the past 30 days to reduce case counts, cases are still going up.
“We don’t understand why additionally restricting our industry is going to cause the curve to flatten or go the other way,” he said.
Jeffrey added restaurants are also going to have to throw thousands of dollars of product away due to the restrictions.
“Thousands of dollars of draft beer, thousands of dollars of produce and perishable goods that will have to go in the garbage now because the lack of notice we were given that these measures were being put in place,” he said.
Outside of Winnipeg, where Code Orange restrictions will be in place, restaurants and bars will be limited to 50 per cent capacity, and groups are limited to five.
Jeffery said he is worried that these spots, in rural areas without Winnipeg’s large customer base, may not make it through the pandemic.
During a news conference at City Hall, Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman urged Winnipeggers to order take out as often as they can afford it while the restrictions are in place.
“Support some world-class local restaurants in our community that are hurting right now,” he said.
-With files from CTV’s Michael D’Alimonte.