Lethbridge’s restaurants are skeptical about COVID-19 rule enforcement


The owner of a Lethbridge restaurant has questions following an announcement by Premier Jason Kenny on Thursday.

“We’re all in one state, ‘what is it supposed to look like?” “We can only assume now, and we don’t want to be mistaken.”

Kenny said the government was “working to increase the tightness whether members of parties for the courtyard service are from the same house or have two identified close contacts of individuals living alone.”

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This was part of the announcement of targeted sanctions in the COVID-19 “Hot Spot” on Thursday.

“Rather, it is for those who are not taking the epidemic seriously and endangering others by not following public health orders,” he said.

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However, what that looks like for the restaurant and who will implement it is still up in the air.

Harper said his staff worried that policing and enforcement would fall on them.

“They are afraid of being verbally abused. People get very upset when they ask for things. “There are still people coming without masks, and we ask them to put on masks, and we have literally treated people disrespectfully to us.”

Most of Harper’s employees are young and first-time employees.

“We are doing an entry level job. Restaurants are usually the first experience people have in a job. He does not have the maturity or experience to deal with angry people, ”she said.

“People are angry. it’s unfortunate.”

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Mocha Cabana Bistro has been open for eight years. Harper said this is only the second year the restaurant has been able to open the courtyard before May. While he is grateful that they can open it earlier this year, it is only a small win.

“It’s just one thing over another,” he said. “It’s just too much.” This is basically the straw that is breaking my good camel’s back. “

Representatives of Alberta’s hospitality industry met with health officials on Friday.

Ernie Tsu, president of the Alberta Hospitality Association, said staff safety was a major concern.

“We still have some customers who come under a lot of animosity,” he said. “And quite frankly, if they don’t understand the rules or understand that we have a job to do and we have to live by policies to be open, then we’re not going to put our employees in that position . “

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Going forward, Tsu hopes that the guidance is clearly written for not only the industry but also the customers.

“I think the government now has a clear understanding that it is very difficult for any staff member to challenge a customer, if they are telling the truth or not,” he said.

This is a point Harper wants health officials to understand.

“We are going to do whatever we ask you to do,” she said. “But I need the government to understand the people they are asking to talk to.”

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