On Tuesday, Alberta announced new COVID-19 safety restrictions ordering casinos and gyms to close and banning dine-in service at restaurants, bars and cafes effective Sunday, Dec. 13.
Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery and founding board member of the Alberta Hospitality Association, was disappointed to hear about the new restrictions. He believes bars, restaurants and lounges are being penalized again, while other businesses are being allowed to stay open.
“For a lot of restaurants out there right now, it’s very unfortunate, they’re barely hanging on and this is going to be a very tough time for them,” Tsu said.
“But more importantly, it’s going to be a tough time for our staff. Our staff that do not have the ability to work from home and quite frankly, won’t have a paycheque to go home to leading into Christmas.”
Kris Harvey is the owner of Edmonton concert venue, The Chvrch of John, and said the hospitality industry is feeling frustrated and like their voices are not being heard by the province.
“Regardless of how much they say we’re the experts and we can write the protocols, they haven’t listened to hospitality experts.”
“We’ve created safe environments and done everything, jumped through every single hoop we’ve been asked for with very minimal or no support and now with the last three weeks, the protocols were just mindless, they were half-assed,” Harvey said.