When will restaurants reopen in Canada and what will they look like?
When will restaurants reopen in Canada? And what will the look like? One thing is for sure, they won't be offering dine-in service until social distancing measures are lifted, and early models from other countries indicate that our dining experience may never be the same.
In Hong Kong, for example, restaurants are allowed to serve dine-in customers but there are many new rules they need to abide by. The government has limited group sizes at tables to four people and mandated spacing between each table.
Separators in action between booths. Hand sanitizer on every table pic.twitter.com/E44PMJwVPg— Rachael Foo (@rxfoo2) April 16, 2020
All diners must also have their temperatures taken before entering the restaurant, and they have to wear masks at all times — unless they're taking a bite of food.
#HongKong has announced a series of measures and the enactment of laws to contain the pandemic in the community and boost social distancing.https://t.co/3FEgObBZ77https://t.co/gRxFq7NrpGhttps://t.co/4Q9qgcgWvlhttps://t.co/qgIror89Xs pic.twitter.com/DEGUK0JZcc— BrandHongKong 香港亞洲國際都會 (@Brand_HK) March 28, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom similarly said on Tuesday that dining rooms operating at 50 per cent capacity could be the "new normal" once restaurants begin to reopen in the U.S.
Restaurants in Hong Kong are required to set diners apart by at least 1.5 metre. Well, these two were seated even further away from each other. #SocialDistancing #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/qYvKvKWSl3— Joseph Chuk (@RedsailorJ) April 15, 2020
Newsom also mentioned temperature checks at the door, and hinted that disposable menus could become commonplace.
He also said that servers and other restaurant staff might be forced to wear gloves and masks.
CA Gov. Gavin Newsom is among the governors weighing how to ease restrictions to safely re-open the economy, noting that “dinner where the menu is disposable" or "dinner where half the tables in that restaurant no longer appear” may become a new reality. https://t.co/H1MHz7eIHG pic.twitter.com/0zPwKd5KBl— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 15, 2020
All of which begs the question — will restaurants in Canada do the same?
According to Restaurants Canada Vice President James Rilett, it seems unlikely that Canadian restaurants will undertake "extreme measures" such as taking diners' temperatures.
However, Rilett believes that Canada "will definitely see new regulations on distancing" being implemented, as well as increased hygiene and sanitation processes.
The bottom line? You don't need to stock up on thermometers yet, but your birthday dinner at your favourite spot might look a lot smaller next year.
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