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 on the Mont-Royal Plateau 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 14
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 Bar Le Darling on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, says her business has “closed twice this weekend due to extremely sick staff having tested positive for COVID-19.”
“We play Tetris head-on with the tables in an effort to stay open,” adds Ms. 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 after testing positive for COVID-19”.
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.
“Subtly charming problem solver. Extreme tv enthusiast. Web scholar. Evil beer expert. Music nerd. Food junkie.”