The provincial government introduced additional public health measures last week in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 rates, including the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) that applies to all restaurants and bars, effective Sept. 20.
In order to dine indoors, the program requires that all patrons over the age of 12 provide proof of vaccination (one dose is acceptable until Oct. 25), proof of a negative rapid test, or documentation of a medical exemption. An apparent loophole in the program is that staff themselves are not required to be vaccinated.
Businesses that choose not to participate in the program will be barred from offering indoor dining, will need to restrict outdoor dining to a maximum of 6 persons (one household or two individuals who live alone), and must end liquor sales by 10pm.
Over the weekend, many restaurants began sharing their plans based on the new restrictions, and it appears the vast majority will implement the program. Some restaurants, such as Fife N Dekel and Pho Tau Bay, have delayed indoor dining until October. Others, including Rosewood Foods, RGE RD, and Bundok, have announced that they will be participating in the program, while volunteering the information that all of their staff have been vaccinated. Restaurants such as Say Uncle have committed to requiring their staff to be fully vaccinated.
These hospitality businesses join Fleisch, EvoWonderLounge, and Arcadia Brewing Co. which mandated vaccine passports back in August and early September.
One of the more prominent businesses to publicly opt-out of the Restrictions Exemption Program so far is KB & Co.
Passport Eats is one website that has popped up, offering to be a database of restaurants that have opted in to the Restrictions Exemption Program. However, because the information is crowd-sourced, it may not be accurate or complete.