The City of Armstrong and the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce have come together to support those in the restaurant sector after the current provincial health orders were amended Monday, March 29.
As of midnight Monday, dine-in service at restaurants and bars in B.C. must cease and these businesses can only provide take-out, delivery or patio service. These orders are in place until April 19.
“We asked city council and staff to consider immediate support of our food and beverage businesses by expanding the options for outdoor patio seating,” said Sean Newton, Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce president. “This would allow food and beverage establishments currently without patios to stay open during this unexpected change in the PHO (provincial health order).”
“Our restaurant owners and their employees are friends, neighbours and family members,” said Mayor Chris Pieper. “They are an important part of our downtown core.”
The amended health orders are a result of increased cases of COVID-19 across the province.
“We know that the pandemic continues to pose a risk,” said Newton. “However, we also know the challenges all our businesses and employees have endured for the past year, including changes to their premises to ensure health and safety. This disruption to small businesses could also see a loss of jobs in our community. We applaud the effort of the City of Armstrong council and staff to mitigate some of the loss through a temporary patio policy.”
The City of Armstrong will support permitting restaurants and liquor establishments in utilizing city sidewalks and parking spaces effective midnight March 29 until April 19. Should an extension be required the city will respond at that time.
“As this is a rapidly changing situation, there may be a further need to change or adapt,” said Pieper. “Ensuring that businesses remain operational is a priority but we want to ensure we also focus on public safety with these adaptations.”
An overview of the new municipal support is available by contacting Warren Smith, manager of community services, City of Armstrong or Patti Noonan, executive director, Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.
As part of the March 29 announcement, indoor, adult group fitness activities of any kind are also paused. Gyms and fitness centres are restricted to individual or one-on-one activities only, i.e., one-on-one personal training.
The previously announced variance for limited indoor worship services has been suspended. Outdoor worship services under the current variance may continue.