The patio at the HeidOut and other Cranbrook restaurant patios will still be open for business during the circuit breaker restriction period. Corey Bullock photo

The patio at the HeidOut and other Cranbrook restaurant patios will still be open for business during the circuit breaker restriction period. Corey Bullock photo

Indoor dining restrictions likely to be extended: Industry group

Restrictions to in-person restaurant dining that were implemented as part of a three-week ‘circuit breaker’ are likely to be extended beyond April 19 and into the next month, according to provincial industry group.

The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association said representatives held a meeting with the province’s top public health officials — Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Brian Emerson — for a conversation that led to indications the restrictions would likely be extended through to May.

“In the meeting we expressed that there has been much inconsistency and confusion in regards to patios,” reads a statement sent out to industry membership. “We will be working with Dr.’s Henry and Emerson on a patio guidelines document which will better outline the requirements for patios and provide clarity for our industry. We will circulate as soon as it is available.”

The local restaurant scene has had to pivot once again when the latest restrictions were announced at the end of March, while the City of Cranbrook also stepped in with expedited processes for restaurants to set up outdoor patios, which are allowed under the circuit breaker restrictions.

Restaurants downtown have already set up patios along the southern side of Baker St. and avenues that feed into the downtown core, with patios either set up or in the works at Fire Hall Kitchen & Tap, Soulfood Farm to Table, The Heidout, Twisted Peaks, and The Cottage.

Elsewhere in the city, Don Cherry’s, Boston Pizza, Mr. Mikes and others are using their parking lots to set up outdoor patio spaces, according to city staff.

During Monday’s council meeting, Mayor and councillors praised the quick work done by staff to tweak seasonal patio bylaw regulations following the announcement of the provincial circuit breaker restrictions.

“I just like to acknowledge the residents and the public for the support already of the outdoor patios and outdoor venues here,” added Councillor Wayne Price. “I do a lot of walking; I do a little walk at least a few days a week through town and I’m going to tell you, a few of those days it was pretty chilly, but some of those places were very, very full and there’s people there with their blankets and everything.

“We know they’re going down there just to support local business so thank you very much and I sure hope that trend continues.”

When the circuit breaker restrictions were announced two weeks ago, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce called for stronger supports from the province as well as a consideration for regional approaches to COVID-19 measures.

It was a call echoed by local provincial MLAs Tom Shypitka and Doug Clovechok, as well as Kootenay Columbia MP Rob Morrison.

“I think it’s about time that the provincial government, and federal, but provincial especially in this case, start looking at us regionally and say, ‘This area can do this, and let’s allow them to do that,’” Morrison said, in a recent interview.

“Lumping us in with everybody else is not, in my mind, a great way to do business.”

The federal government has announced a number of supports for businesses throughout the pandemic, however, some restaurants and seasonal outfits have had trouble accessing that relief or do not qualify for it.

“Look at Western Canada, look at us in the Kootenays, we have hundreds of seasonal businesses because of what we have here with our mountains and outdoor activities, so for those people to be excluded…who was thinking when they put that out?” he asked.

Just Posted

It happened this week in 1914

May 9 - 15: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The Salmon Arm RCMP seize hundreds of grams of drugs in a raid in Sorrento on March 20, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
RCMP have suspect identified in rash of local thefts

Police have a suspect in a rash of recent thefts from local… Continue reading

Rotary Way is being repaved from 4th Street South to the second bridge, just past St. Mary’s School. (Barry Coulter photo)
Rotary Way being repaved along Joseph Creek

The Rotary Club is having a portion of its namesake trail repaved.… Continue reading

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read