More COVID-19 cases linked to bars is ‘frustrating,’ Saskatoon bar owner says

SASKATOON —
At the Yard and Flagon on Broadway Avenue, 58 fewer seats are available to accommodate three-metre physical distancing.

Surfaces are cleaned more frequently and guests have to write down their information for contact-tracing.

The business has made several adjustments to adhere to the province’s COVID-19 guidelines.

However, co-owner Arno Oldach says not every restaurant is doing the same.

“The stories that we have heard are terrifying,” Oldach says.

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer announced COVID-19 transmission linked to bars is on the rise. Dr. Saqib Shahab says more fines have been handed out as a result.

“Business owners are not complying with the guidelines,” Shahab told reporters.

“The patrons are not complying, there’s mingling among tables – thus resulting in outbreaks.”

Oldach says the increase in cases connected to bars is frustrating for the businesses following the rules.

“It’s frustrating because here, and at our location at The Rook and Raven downtown, we follow the law,” Oldach told CTV News.

He says the bars and restaurants violating the public health orders paint the industry in a bad light

“Because it’s not every bar,” he says.

“What we tell people is: If you walk into a place and you think it’s overcrowded, you think they’re not following the laws or they’re not wearing masks, don’t go in.”

Investigations into businesses, or households, breaking the public health orders are complaint-driven.

Violations can be reported on the government website.