Indoor dining is now allowed in restaurants. (PQB News file photo)

Indoor dining is now allowed in restaurants. (PQB News file photo)

COVID-19: Parksville Qualicum Beach tourism, business sectors welcome return of indoor restaurant dining

Shortage of workers remains in wake of provincial restrictions

Indoor dining is once again allowed in restaurants, which the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association says is both timely and significant.

Under the province’s COVID-19 restart plans, restaurants can now allow groups of six patrons not restricted to their own household or bubble to enjoy a meal inside restaurants, which are required to put place safety protocols.

PQBTA executive director Blain Sepos said it’s good news for area restaurants, which were forced to close for two months due to a provincial ban on indoor dining with escalating COVID-19 cases.

“Some restaurants have been able to open patios and offer takeout but it doesn’t replace the business or experience that is offered indoors,” said Sepos. “Opening to indoor dining now also allows restaurants the chance to hire and train staff before the busy summer is upon us.”

Liquor can now be served until 10 p.m. The time will be extended to midnight as early as June 15 and the restrictions are scheduled to be lifted July 1.

The Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach chambers of commerce were also pleased with news.

“It lays out a clear path forward to a full re-opening with some tentative timelines,” said executive director Kim Burden. “Restaurants have been hit particularly hard over the course of the past year-and-a-half. Being able to finally offer service to a customer volume that their business plans are built on will allow them to be successful again. It will be hard to determine how long it will take for them to make up the losses incurred during the restrictions.”

Burden added that in addition to their individual business, restaurants are an important piece of the overall community.

“People who visit like to frequent local dining establishments and of course local residents have their favourites when they fancy a meal out and they enjoy trying new,” said Burden. “With summer coming and the potential of travel opening up it is critical that restaurants have the time to re-establish staff, routines and supply chains for supplies. 

READ MORE: Vancouver Island restaurants blindsided by public health orders

While restaurants will be happy to restore indoor services, Sepos highlighted the difficulty they face in terms of hiring staff, due to uncertainty caused by provincial health restrictions.

“There is an acute worker shortage in the tourism and hospitality industry currently, as most businesses were not in the position to hire seasonal university students when they normally do,” said Sepos. “I understand many students have found work in other sectors, leaving tourism and hospitality in the lurch.”

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksville

Just Posted

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue logo on the back of a service vehicle. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville and Qualicum Beach provide letters of support for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

ASAR asks for increase in funding, one-time capital grant and for RDN to buy out current facility

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read