People in Regina are taking full advantage of the nice weather and the loosened COVID-19 restrictions surrounding indoor and patio dining.
For nearly two months, restaurants and bars were only allowed to offer takeout and delivery, but on Monday that changed.
And with temperatures hitting above 30 C, according to Environment Canada, food establishments were finally able to welcome back guests.
Julie Nickerson, The Fat Badger’s general manager, said it’s been a long wait and that staff were roaring to go.
Read more: Regina restaurants get ready for in-person dining to resume on Monday
“As soon as we got the date last week, we were pretty excited about it,” Nickerson said. “We’re excited to get back out there and have people enjoy themselves.
“For staff, they have to make a living so even with the restrictions, we’re happy to be able to be open again.”
Businesses still need to follow a number of COVID-19 measures including physical distancing of at least two metres. Only four people are allowed to sit at a table.
Nickerson said she does expect some people to be hesitant to return to restaurants, but believes it won’t last long.
“I expect some people to be a little bit wary about coming out again, I think it will take some time, but I think the outdoor patio will help a lot with that,” Nickerson said.
Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan government lifts travel advisory for Regina and area
Judith Veresuk, Regina Downtown Business Improvement District’s executive director, said the lifted restrictions couldn’t come at a better time.
“We’re obviously pretty pumped to see our restaurateurs back in downtown Regina,” Veresuk said.
“Food’s always been great from doing takeout this last shutdown, but it’s always nice to see our favourite waiters, our favourite servers serving the best food in Regina.”
Veresuk said it’s exactly what these businesses need during an extremely challenging time.
“We’re hoping this is the first step in permanently overcoming COVID-19 and getting us on that road to recovery,” Veresuk said.
“It’s been a real hard go for all of our businesses, but especially for food and beverage. Having that steady of expectation that they’re going to be open and allowed to have folks on their patios or inside their stores goes along way.”
These lifted restrictions are not part of Saskatchewan’s reopening roadmap.
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