Many restaurants, cafes, and breweries are now open and ready to welcome customers. If you decide to visit one, there are some important things to keep in mind. Here are some tips adapted from the BC Centre for Disease Control on how to visit these places safely while also being considerate of staff and other patrons.
Be aware of your own risk tolerance
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC), eating in restaurants is one of the higher-risk activities you can do during a pandemic. The BC CDC says this is why:
- It’s often inside
- You won’t be able to wear your mask while you’re eating and drinking
- You will be in a smaller space for a longer period of time (the longer we’re with other people, the more chance there is for them to come into contact with our respiratory droplets)
While restaurants have put in place protocols to keep customers safe, it’s important to be aware of the risks and make the decision that’s right for you.
How to visit restaurants, cafes, and breweries safely and considerately
- Try to pick a place that has an outdoor patio (or windows that open, good ventilation and lots of space between tables) to reduce your risk – remember, the less time you spend inside, the better!
- Wash your hands when you get there, and before you leave (or use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not possible)
- Avoid sharing meals, drinks, condiments, or cutlery with friends
- Stay in small groups of 6 or less
- Do not move tables or chairs or mingle with other tables
- Be mindful of physical distancing rules
- Looks for arrows and markers for physical distancing on the floors
- Be prepared to provide contact information if visiting a restaurant, brewery, winery, etc
- Respect the protocols
- Don’t ask staff to bend the rules for you
- Be patient, things may take longer than usual
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Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca