A few weeks after reopening, bars and restaurants across Quebec have already been forced to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak among their staff.
“Caught most of the staff. We decided to close for five days. “We have too many employees who have COVID to open and operate at the moment,” says Jules Gauliard Martineau, owner of the Rockette Pub.
He decided to close his establishment, located in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, in Montreal, as a precaution. “We also want to protect customers. We will not ask our employees to come to work when they are sick,” insists Mr. Gauliard Martineau.
Remember that restaurants and bars are only 100% working since March 14th.
Newspaper It found more than a dozen bars and restaurants that announced their temporary closures due to the outbreak over the past few days.
Most of these companies are located in the Greater Montreal area. Among them, we note the Cafécoquetel in Villeray or the Turbo Haüs Bar in the Latin Quarter.
The Turbo Haüs Facebook page that does not plan to reopen before April 3 reads: “COVID has been hard for us lately, so we’re getting closer to regrouping, to stay healthy and to make decisions about how we want to operate.”
Helena Sokolow, of Le Darling pub on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, admits that this business has “closed twice this weekend due to extremely sick staff having tested positive for COVID-19”.
“We’re playing Tetris with schedules in an effort to stay open,” M adds.me Sokolov.
Institutions in the regions are also affected. This is the case of the Nambu restaurant in Drummondville, which has been forced to close due to “too many employees currently in confinement following a positive COVID-19 test result.”
Responsible owners, as requested by ARQ
Martin Visina, of the Restaurant Association Quebec (ARQ), was not surprised by these closures due to the rise of the BA.2 variant.
“We haven’t heard of many restaurants in this situation. But seeing the owners closing their facilities shows that they are taking the situation seriously and that they do not need demographic measures. [du gouvernement] To manage the situation,” says Mr. Vezina.
According to the Department of Health and Social Services (MSSS), it is impossible to know if Quebec is experiencing an increase in outbreaks in bars and restaurants at the moment.
“Since January 2022, outbreaks in health care settings, living environments and the most vulnerable environments have been aggregated in the record of the COVID-19 outbreak in Quebec. As a result, it is not possible to determine whether there has been an increase in outbreaks in bars and restaurants,” explains Robert Maranda, ministry spokesman.
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