A video making rounds on social media shows a crowded Vancouver restaurant defying British Columbia’s current ban on indoor dining.
Corduroy in Kitsilano is one of two restaurants that have been issued closure notices by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) after violating orders from the provincial health officer.
Video footage shared on Facebook shows the inside of Corduroy on Saturday, filled with people. Two health inspectors from VCH speak to one of the restaurant’s owners, who tells them that they are “trespassing on [her] private property.”
Patrons inside the restaurant repeatedly chant “get out!” until the two inspectors leave. The Vancouver Police Department’s (VPD) Liquor Coordinator also attended the restaurant after police received several complaints throughout the day.
Corduroy posted on its Instagram on Sunday, describing the past two days as “a roller coaster.”
“We appreciate the support and understand the backlash,” the restaurant writes. “This last year has been incredibly difficult for us all.”
Corduroy said that they “sold out of food” and would be closing on Sunday and Monday but plan to reopen on Tuesday afternoon, despite the closure notice.
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Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has since addressed the incident, saying that the actions put both restaurant staff and patrons at risk.
“Harassment of enforcement officials will not be tolerated, and closure orders by Vancouver Coastal Health or any other health authority must be respected,” he said in a statement.
“There most certainly will be consequences for ignoring and defying orders that are intended to keep British Columbians safe.”
A closure notice was also issued on Thursday to Gusto A Taste of Italy in Olympic Village. And on Monday afternoon, the City of Vancouver suspended the business licences for both Corduroy and Gusto. The two restaurants will be closed until April 20, 2021.
BC’s “circuit breaker” emergency restrictions were announced at the end of March and were implemented to curb a surging number of COVID-19 cases. The three-week restrictions will be in place until April 19, 2021. They include a suspension on indoor dining, adult group fitness activities, and indoor worship services.
Daily Hive has reached out to the Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Coastal Health.