For some Kelowna pub and restaurant owners, the news of recent sanitation measures came as no surprise.
“Seeing the numbers last week, I knew something was coming, more restrictions,” said Katja Oldendorf, manager of Mickie’s Pub and Short Stop Liquor Store.
“And there may be more, who knows.”
Things seemed to be going in the right direction when the province entered phase three of its restart plan on July 1. But as the central Okanagan struggles to maintain a linear course to normal, Oldendorf said it has been just exhausting.
“Mentally, more than anything. I just don’t know, ”she said. “Seeing the numbers increasing every day scared many of our employees. “
She added that she had no choice but to follow whatever provincial health officials decide to do and that she supports Dr Bonnie Henry’s efforts to keep the public safe.
“I guess things could be worse – being completely closed, but we’re still open. The staff shortage has been a huge problem for us in addition to COVID. Right now we are holding on, ”said Oldendorf.
Scott MacDonald, the owner of Dakoda’s Pub, said provincial health officials are doing what they should be doing.
“We do what they want us to do. I mean, all you really have to do is wear a mask when you sit down now, ”MacDonald said.
He pointed out that the pub had its fourth best month in 10 years in July, adding that he was not worried about the impact of the restrictions on business.
“The government has helped us so much with so much government funding that there’s no way I can complain,” MacDonald said.
Kicking off Phase Four of British Columbia’s restart plan in early July, which included making masks optional, Train Station Pub and Midtown Station co-owner Rhonda Lindsay said provincial officials from health should have expected an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“At this point, we have no choice but to participate in these restrictions because if they don’t get them under control it’s going to get worse,” Lindsay said. “I can’t say it surprised us. It’s super unfortunate. “
Lindsay added that she expected the measures to last all summer.
“It has put so much pressure on so many of our team and the entire management team. Everyone is doing their best. It’s a real success because we try to keep our staff morale high, ”she said.
“The hospitality industry deserves to build confidence in this industry, and we need public health to help build confidence.”