Without a patio option, Billy's restaurant will be closed until April 19. Photo Spotlight

Princeton restaurants steamed over shutdown

“They had to do something.”

Princeton restaurateurs are grappling with recently announced COVID restrictions that shut the door to dining room service.

“I was upset that they waited so long (to make the announcement) and that there was zero notice,” said Curtis Pedwell, who owns The Copper Pit.

Pedwell said he understands the need for the shutdown. “They had to do something.”

However the abrupt delivery of the health order, issued March 29 to take affect the same day, meant immediate layoffs for some employees and a loss of inventory.

The Copper Pit’s patio remains open, and the kitchen is open for take out.

Billy’s Restaurant is closed until the health order expires April 19, and owner Randy McLean expressed his frustration.

“I think we all realize with the COVID situation that we are going through that there will be sacrifices we all have to make. However it seems as if this government has no business advisors on staff,” he said.

“What harm would there have been a week prior to March 29 to say there is a possibility of another restaurant closure? If it turned out it wasn’t necessary what damage would have been done as opposed to the perishable food loss across the province?”

McLean said he also believes restrictions could be localized by region, noting that COVID numbers in this area are low.

And he expressed concern for his workers.

“Personally, until my employees are vaccinated I won’t stop worrying about their safety, so this shutdown will at least get us closer to that day. They work hard, they could use a break.”

Adult group fitness activities and indoor religious services have also been put on hold.

Following the order, Premier John Horgan cited an “unacceptably high” level of new cases being spread primarily by younger people.

“We’ve come a great distance but we cannot blow it now,” Horgan said. “We need to focus on individual responsibility for the greater good.”

Horgan said the B.C. government is working on ways to provide further relief for restaurant, pub and other hospitality employees who will be pushed out of work for the three-week period. Existing programs may be extended if necessary, he said.

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

Related: Penticton restaurants reeling under new restrictions

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
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