Waterloo Region businesses prepare for COVID-19 red zone restrictions

KITCHENER —
As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and red level COVID-19 restrictions loom, Waterloo Region businesses are gearing up for changes.

Revive Game Bar in Uptown Waterloo has chosen to shut their doors and focus on takeout. Owner Rami Said says the decision is intended to curb numbers, but no indoor dining during the winter presents new issues to figure out.

“People aren’t going to be out walking as much anymore,” he said. “Travel’s probably going down a little bit while the weather gets a little more drastic, so we really have to find a new direction to take the takeout and see what the community really wants in terms of product offerings.”

Retain clothing store Baby Charlotte in Kitchener expects to be unaffected since they’ve already had rules in place since reopening earlier this year.

“When we reopened, we did it so that we just had one person or bubble in at a time to a maximum of five,” said owner Carla Muller.

The store has also built a vestibule for waiting customers, enforce masks and physical distancing, and offer customers online shopping for delivery or curbside pickup.

“I some cases we’ve had people who have been a little put off by the rules,” said Muller. “It’s hard to get used to. I think everyone’s trying to fond their way through this together, but I would say most people are understanding and grateful that we’re being that careful.”

Rich Uncle Tavern in Downtown Kitchener has temporarily closed as a precaution and decided to hold a beer and wine fire sale this afternoon.

“We have product that will go to waste if not purchased,” said the owner in an email to CTV News. “Due to the closure we will not have another opportunity to sell it.

“Temporary closure is the best fit for our future needs as an individual location and company as a whole.”

Cinemas and performing centres will have to close on Monday to meet the new restrictions, but Apollo Cinema in Downtown Kitchener already did so earlier this week as a precaution, and Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts never opened.

Kari Hueber of the KW Symphony tells CTV News The Centre in the Square will remain closed even as the space is safely used to perform recordings.

“I continue to urge for the time being that all residents only leave home for essential purposes,” said Region of Waterloo Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang.

Red ‘control’ level restrictions also limits the number of people allowed to gather indoors and outdoors as well as in public or private settings.

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