New 50-person limit for businesses creating tough decisions for bars and restaurants - InfoNews

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New 50-person limit for businesses creating tough decisions for bars and restaurants

A pedestrian walks by BNA Brew pub and restaurant in downtown Kelowna.
March 16, 2020 - 2:00 PM

As the province advises organizations to cancel gatherings of more than 50 people, many locals bars and restaurants are going to have to make tough decisions. 

BNA Brewing Co. co-owner Kyle Nixon, said he’s thinking about his staff right now.

“We have 30 people that have been with us for five years, so what makes this hard is that nobody (knows the plan),” he said. “I’m more worried about what do I tell my staff? For a lot of my staff and myself included, our cheque comes from today so that’s the part that is weighing on me, how this affects everyone around me. You do the math... 250 people on Friday and now there’s only 50, I only need a fifth of my staff,” he said.

Provincial medical health officer Bonnie Henry made the announcement to limit social gatherings to 50 people morning, acknowledging the impact it will have on businesses. 

“That’s one of the things we took into account when we discussed what’s a reasonable number, most bars and entertainment places will not be able to meet those criteria… it’s a challenge with restaurants and cafes, they could possibly maintain separation or they could look at takeaway service… it’s challenging, I know it will be hard on businesses and on people to not congregate and have special moments to gather.. but this is what we think is important right now to get us through this period of time,” she said during the press conference.



READ MORE: Kelowna shoppers increasingly frustrated as COVID-19 panic buying makes getting the basics harder

The U.S. announced today that Americans would be limited to social gatherings of 10.

BNA Brewing has an operating capacity of 400 people. The brewery operated at a capacity of 250 people this weekend, he said, adding the community has been supportive.

“I feel like a few bad weeks or a bad month is better than a bad year and so for us, we’re on board to do whatever the government (wants us to do),” he said, adding that this affects more than just his establishment.

“There was a lot of people who came in and wanted to say hi and see how we’re doing… that shows me we had the support,” he said.

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