Mayor Lisa Helps says Victoria is prepared to quickly approve flexible COVID-19 recovery plans to allow open-air dining experiences in an environment of safe physical distancing for customers and employees. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)

Victoria mayor says city preparing to create open spaces for restaurant recovery

B.C. restaurants have been restricted to take-out service since March

Victoria’s mayor says she wants to give the city’s restaurants, pubs and retailers more space to reopen successfully with a plan that could expand outdoor patios to sidewalks, parking lots and streets closed to traffic.

Lisa Helps says her council is prepared to quickly approve flexible COVID-19 recovery plans to allow open-air dining experiences in an environment of safe physical distancing for customers and employees.

B.C. restaurants have been restricted to take-out service since March, but Helps says staff will be urged to find ways to have expansion plans in place as the industry prepares to welcome back customers this month.

Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, says struggling restaurants need immediate help getting back on their feet and expanding into public spaces would provide more room to serve customers safely.

Vancouver city council is also preparing to debate the issue of making more room for restaurants and Mayor Kennedy Stewart has said the city must think creatively to help spur recovery.

Restaurants Canada, a not-for-profit industry association, says a recent survey of members finds that seven out of 10 owners fear they won’t have enough money to pay their expenses over the next three months.

READ MORE: Plan in the works for safe re-opening of B.C. restaurants amid COVID-19

READ MORE: British Columbians can double their ‘pandemic bubble’ mid-May, but no large gatherings

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

City of VictoriaCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read