Omicron in Ottawa: restaurants brace for new round of restrictions

At Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery in Gloucester on Tuesday, many patrons said they came for what will be their last indoor dining experience in quite some time.

“It was our last chance to have a business meeting where we could go out for dinner so we are enjoying the last day,” said Kevin Chevrier.

As of Wednesday, indoor dining is closed for at least three weeks as Omicron hits Ontario.

“Whenever we get a mandate to implement and everything, we accept it, we do it, we implement it and try to survive as much as everyone else,” said Patrick McCann, reception manager of Big Rig.

“These new rounds of restrictions coming in really make it look like you’re kicked out when you’re ashore,” said Wolf Down owner Joelle Parenteau.

She has written articles on the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the industry, from supply shortages to staff, which have been widely shared.

“We’re doing everything in our power just to keep the doors open and keep food there, but just doing basic operations is 10 times harder than it’s ever been. or it should be, just because of all these different issues that we’re facing. It’s just runoff collateral damage from COVID, “she said.

Other new restrictions include: indoor sports and recreational facilities will be closed. The same will apply to indoor concert halls, theaters, cinemas, meeting spaces, museums and zoos.

Indoor social gatherings will also be reduced to five people, indoor religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be limited to 50%. Personal care services, retail businesses and public libraries will also be cut to 50%.

“We at CFIB had already predicted that 180,000 businesses, small businesses across Canada, would shut down forever because of the damage they suffered over the past two years. I suspect it might be more at this point It’s one in six small businesses that are going away permanently, ”said Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

In Ontario, some businesses ordered to close will be reimbursed 100% of property taxes and energy costs. Those reduced to 50 percent of their capacity will receive reimbursement for half of these expenses. Online applications will open in mid-January and payments will be retroactive to December 19.

“Obviously, everything will help, but it will not help settle the growing debt accumulated since March 2020,” said Michelle Groulx, Executive Director of the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas. “And so we are looking for support and cancellation of the mounds of debt that impact livelihoods here.”

The federal government has temporarily extended the local lockdown program and more Canadians are eligible for the Canadian worker lockdown benefit of $ 300 per week if they are in an area with capacity restrictions and have lost 50 percent or more of their income.

“It’s not just a business that’s affected, it’s livelihoods. There are a lot of people working for the companies that are affected and restricted right now that are facing layoffs and reduced shifts and their income so just so everyone can be kind and supportive anyone as much as he can, ”said Groulx.

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