Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism and Commercial Sectors Welcome Return of Indoor Restaurant – Parksville Qualicum Beach News



Indoor dining is once again allowed in restaurants, which the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association says is both timely and important.

As part of the province’s COVID-19 restart plans, restaurants can now allow groups of six customers not limited to their own homes or bubble to enjoy a meal at restaurants, which are required to implement security protocols.

PQBTA executive director Blain Sepos said it was good news for restaurants in the area, which were forced to close for two months due to a provincial ban on eating indoors with a escalation of COVID-19 cases.

“Some restaurants have been able to open patios and offer take-out, but that doesn’t replace the business or experience offered inside,” Sepos said. “The opening to indoor restaurants now allows restaurants to hire and train staff before the busy summer is upon us.”

Alcoholic beverages can now be served until 10 p.m. The time will be extended until midnight on June 15 and the restrictions are expected to be lifted on July 1.

The Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce were also delighted with the news.

“It charts a clear path to a full reopening with some tentative timelines,” said Executive Director Kim Burden. “Restaurants have been hit particularly hard over the past year and a half. Finally, being able to offer a service to a volume of customers on which their business plans are based will allow them to succeed again. It will be difficult to determine how long it will take them to compensate for the losses suffered during the restrictions. “

Burden added that in addition to their sole proprietorship, restaurants are an important part of the community as a whole.

“People who visit love to patronize the local restaurants and of course the local residents have their favorite dishes when they crave a meal and like to try new ones,” Burden said. “With the onset of summer and the potential opening of travel, it’s critical that restaurants have time to reestablish staff, routines and supply chains for sourcing.

While restaurants will be happy to restore domestic services, Sepos highlighted the difficulty they face in terms of hiring staff, due to the uncertainty caused by provincial health restrictions.

“There is currently a serious shortage of manpower in the tourism and hospitality sector, as most companies were not able to hire seasonal university students when they normally do,” Sepos said. “My understanding is that many students have found work in other industries, leaving tourism and hospitality in dire straits.”

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