The strict four-week re-containment further pushes away the prospect of reopening the dining rooms, worry the restaurateurs.
“The real bad news is that this reconfinement will postpone the reopening of the dining rooms for four weeks or even more. The sacrifice made by our industry is already immense and we cannot survive in these circumstances ”, alarmed François Meunier, vice-president of the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (ARQ), Wednesday evening, a few minutes later. the announcement of Prime Minister François Legault.
According to Mr. Meunier, “we absolutely have to find a way to be able to resume our activities, even partially, so that we can earn our living”.
Similar reasoning on the part of Bertrand de Lépinay, general manager of Portofino, on the route de l’Eglise, in Quebec.
“I am really not recommending that the government push back the date for the reopening of dining rooms forever because it will lose face. They have to give a deadline and they have to respect it. In my head, that date is already February 8, ”he said.
Confusion around curfew
On Wednesday evening, great confusion reigned around the procedures applicable during the curfew which will begin on Saturday.
Restaurant owners interviewed by The newspaper mistakenly understood that the delivery service would be prohibited after 8 p.m. and they were already foreseeing significant logistical difficulties for their work organization.
However, the press release issued in the evening by the government specifies “that in order to align with the 8 pm curfew, all businesses will have to close their doors no later than 7:30 pm. Restaurants may however continue. to offer a delivery service ”.
The authorization to continue delivery after 20 h was described as “good news” by Meziane Moulfi, owner of the restaurant Aux Deux Violons. “It gives us at least a little chance,” he said. That’s already it, because things are going badly. I do not expect the dining rooms to reopen before May. ”
The latter, however, clarified that several questions remain unanswered, in particular that of the papers necessary to allow catering employees to move around or return to their homes after 8 p.m.
As for the bars, Émile Lebel, owner of four bars in Quebec, including the Ozone pub on Grande Allée, was fatalistic.
“We are lining up to be closed for a while. It is very difficult, he lamented. In bars, the month of January is normally very good thanks to the tourists. COVID is holding me back a lot. “
Mr. Lebel now hopes that the vaccination campaign will quickly reach cruising speed.
“We can not wait for the vaccination structure to be put in place and be concrete,” he hoped.