'It's terrifying, is what it is': Saskatoon restaurant adjusts to running business during COVID-19 pandemic
SASKATOON -- It’s almost been three weeks since restaurants and bars opened in Saskatoon after months of closure due to COVID-19 and some of the protocols are getting mixed reviews.
Arno Oldach owns Rook and Raven on Second Avenue and said he’s adjusting as good as can be expected.
"It's different, the downtown is a lot quieter than it normally is, with lots of people working from home. Lots of offices are closed for the time being."
Oldach said with a 50 per cent capacity limit and expenses that exceed that, staying profitable is a struggle.
"It's hard to rectify it in your mind, but at the end of the day we're just trying our hardest to give the customer what they want and to obviously stay open and in business.
“It's terrifying, is what it is. I'm not going to sugar coat it."
New protocols like masks for staff, sanitizing stations and distancing have been an adjustment, but mostly for customers.
"They'll see an empty seat and say well I want to go sit over there, and you're like, we're at capacity. You're within a six foot zone. So they don't quite understand," Oldach said.
Guests quickly comply once the rationale is explained, he said.
Now that more businesses are open, following the rules will go a long way to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, according to a University of Saskatchewan epidemiologist.
"If the two-metre distance is followed, that projection is not going to end up going to that person because they did follow that protocol, but if they're really close to the person showing the symptoms, then they're going to get it really quickly," assistant professor Khrisha Aphonsus told CTV News.
Public Health is responsible for enforcing any violations that are reported and said public health inspectors are visiting restaurants and bars to ensure compliance.
Anyone who witnesses a public health order violation can report it at 1-855-559-5502.
Saskatoon Police tell CTV News they have beat and bike officers in those areas keeping an eye out.
“If there are any issues with non-compliance or larger crowds, that is when police enforcement may be required,” spokesperson Julie Clark said.
Police say they have not faced any non-compliance issues.