Phase 2: Okanagan restaurants eager to resume in-house service

Click to play video: 'Okanagan restaurants ready to resume ‘normal’ service' Okanagan restaurants ready to resume ‘normal’ service
Okanagan restaurants ready to resume ‘normal’ service – May 19, 2020

It’s official, Phase 2 of B.C.’s reopening plan has begun and Dr. Bonnie Henry‘s order that closed restaurants, pubs and wineries has been lifted.

“It’s huge, it’s been such a crushing blow to us for being closed for so long so it’s fantastic to get open again,” said Brad Shave, West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant’s manager.

READ MORE: ‘Move carefully and stay alert’: B.C.’s top doctor warns as province starts to reopen Tuesday

Restaurants are once again allowed to host customers, although service is far from normal.

Owners are required to develop separate COVID-19 safety plans, one for employees and one for customers. 

“We have a lot of protocols for the staff. They have to check in with us everyday, we have to make sure they’re not sick,” said Shave.

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“There’s a ton of different procedures in place so that the staff are physically distanced, and only a few staff in the kitchen at a time.”

READ MORE: Okanagan restaurants hopeful that reopening regulations will lead to return of customers

Among the protocols for customers, restaurants are only allowed to host people up to 50 per cent of their capacity and no more than 50 people at one time.

Tables must be properly physically distanced as well.

READ MORE: Three deaths, but just two new cases of COVID-19, as B.C. starts to reopen

Meanwhile, restaurants in Kelowna say they couldn’t be happier to be back in service. 

“We are finally opening up, time for patios and beers,” said Jeff Blower, Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant manager.

“We’re definitely looking forward to having people coming in again and eating in house and lots of people are wanting to sit on our patio and have a cold beer, enjoy the fresh air and have that extra service,” said Andre Thomas, Kelowna Memphis Blue’s owner.

“We are reopening after a couple months of being closed for COVID-19, we’re pretty excited to show everyone what we’ve been doing while we’ve been closed,” said David Willoughby, Doc Willoughby’s Public House’s owner.

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While you can finally dine out, restaurants like Kelly O’Bryans recommend reservations for parties of four to six people.

Half a dozen is the maximum number allowed to sit together and dine during Phase 2.

Click to play video: 'How concerned is B.C.’s top doctor about COVID-19 cases heading into phase 2 of restart plan?' How concerned is B.C.’s top doctor about COVID-19 cases heading into phase 2 of restart plan?
How concerned is B.C.’s top doctor about COVID-19 cases heading into phase 2 of restart plan? – May 18, 2020

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