EDMONTON, AB – With the first stage of Alberta’s COVID-19 economic relaunch going into effect today (May 14th), breweries in most of the province are now allowed to reopen to the public, albeit with a substantial number of restrictions in place.
As per the Government of Alberta‘s recently announced Relaunch Strategy, bars and restaurants – a category that includes brewery taprooms and brewpubs – are now able to allow customers to order and consume food and drink onsite for the first time in approximately two months.
Today’s relaunch excludes licensed establishments in Calgary and Brooks, areas where the number of cases is still considered too high for certain businesses to operate safely, and where reopening is tentatively set for May 25th.
Taprooms and brewpubs that do choose to reopen will have to adhere to a list of strict regulations, including operating at 50% seating capacity or less, having at least 2 metres of distance between tables, not allowing bar seating, and implementing a number of other policies to allow for sufficient social distancing between customers.
As reported by Jason Foster on his On Beer website, the reaction to this plan varies greatly from brewery to brewery, with some planning to reopen as soon as possible, others intending to wait to see how it goes for the early adopters before making a decision, and a third group indicating that they will stay closed for the foreseeable as they consider any reopening at this stage to be unsafe.
For more details, see the COVID-19 information page on the Government of Alberta website.