Eating places and gymnasiums within the larger Victoria space are adapting to the return of pandemic restrictions

Solomon Siegel desperately tries to avoid firing employees at his downtown restaurant.

But the latest public health order to keep the restaurant indoors by Nov.

The city has already allowed the restaurant to take a seat on Broad Street, where Siegel distributed 12 tables Tuesday, occupying most of them for lunch under sunny skies. But the good weather is not guaranteed and the diner cannot take cool evenings either, said Siegel, who closes an hour earlier than usual.

“It sure is a punch in the heart,” he said of the restrictions.

“My employees will feel it because we simply don’t have the customers. But I’ll do everything I can to keep the staff running and to feed the guests. “

However, live music has been cut. Pagliacci’s was one of the few places in town that had been paying musicians in recent months, but had to – at least temporarily – cut ties with 10 bands under the latest health ordinance.

The room he rented next door to add indoor seating will also go unused and “will cost me about $ 8,000 next month.”

The closure of indoor dining rooms is part of the province’s new round of COVID-19 restrictions announced on Monday. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, noted that virus transmission occurs indoors and said a “breaker” was required.

All restaurants in which food and spirits are served are only allowed to offer a pick-up or delivery service. The dining service is prohibited, except on the outside terraces.

Indoor group fitness activities of all kinds for adults will also be paused.

Kimber Allen, who runs Ashtanga Yoga in the marketplace, said the orders mean they are switching to virtual classes – again.

“We’ve been through this before,” said Allen. “It’s disappointing because we all like to be in our community. But practice strengthens resilience and we will make it. “

Yoga studios and fitness centers have been on the forefront of COVID-19 closures and restrictions over the past year.

Allen said the studio, which serves between 50 and 60 clients every day, immediately sent emails advising that the classes were being streamed online.

Saanich Recreation said all group fitness classes at its centers are suspended until April 19. People who have signed up for a canceled program will be contacted.

Individual activities such as visits to the weight room and personal one-to-one training will continue.

Victoria has also suspended group activities for adults, including fitness and swimming programs in the Crystal Pool, but programs and classes for children and teens will continue.

At 1550s Restaurant and Pub on Cedar Hill Cross Road, manager Pam Dupont said the latest health ordinance will reduce capacity to about 20 people on the terrace. “We only have a quarter of our seats,” she said.

But 1550s have a loyal neighborhood of customers, she said, and takeaway orders have given the business a boost.

Owners started their own shipments shortly after the COVID lockdown a year ago – avoiding the big companies like DoorDash and Skip the Dishes and opting for their own personalized service. It’s free within three miles and costs $ 3 beyond that.

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