BC residents can expect to dine out again beginning on June 1, according to the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.
The association’s CEO Ian Tostenson also suggested that patio dining might be re-opened even sooner than that date.
According to Tostenson, restaurants will have to be able to comply with social distancing measures, installing physical barriers and potentially requiring waiting staff to wear masks and gloves.
“It’s going to be a lot more orderly. It’s still going to be fun, but it’s going to be a little less, I guess the word might be ‘spontaneous,’ as we were in the past. You might see some situations where staff are wearing masks and gloves,” said Tostenson.
It is unclear whether larger restaurants will be required to obey the 50-person gathering limit reiterated by BC Premier John Horgan on Wednesday or if exceptions will be made as long as social distancing is practised.
“We have got one shot to do this right. We can’t do it wrong and then close down and say ‘oops,” said Tostenson.
Guidelines will be further unveiled after receiving approval from WorkSafeBC.
The exact date for re-opening will be determined by each individual restaurant depending on how quickly they can meet the health standards and be ready to resume business.
The association is also estimating that around 30% of BC restaurants will shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.