September 08, 2020 – 5:00 PM
It won’t be much of a challenge for Dakoda’s Sports Bar in Kelowna to adjust to new closing times imposed because of COVID-19.
The new rules say bars have to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. They also have to close by 11 p.m. unless they’re serving full meals.
“When the outbreak in Kelowna happened we reduced our hours,” bar manager Shauna Flynn told iNFOnews.ca.
That was in July following a number of parties where, ultimately, more than 170 people were infected with COVID-19.
While Dakoda’s does stay open until 11 p.m. on some nights, they already close at 9 or 10 p.m. on others.
A number of other Kelowna bars have cut hours so they’re open no later than 11 p.m. but the owner of one sports bar, who didn’t want his name or bar named, stays open until 1 a.m. some nights and said “it will be a challenge.”
While the late hours weren’t peak times, as one of the few late night bars it does mean a loss of business.
Also of concern is the new rule that music and TVs have to be turned down to the level of normal conversation so there won’t be as much yelling and spraying of possibly infectious droplets.
Flynn can’t predict how customers will react but did note that, even at 50 per cent capacity, the bar can seat 144 people with lots of room for safe distancing.
The new rules were imposed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry after there were 429 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.
While only nine of them were in the Interior Health region, Flynn doesn’t agree with the idea of different rules for different parts of the province.
“I think everybody should be doing their part so we can get this over and done with, so this won’t happen again,” she said. “This is a social responsibility on everybody. Once we do certain places with different rules, you’ve got to keep everybody out. That would mean nobody from Vancouver could come here.”
Nightclubs and banquet halls were ordered closed altogether.
READ MORE: Nightclubs and banquet halls ordered closed as B.C. health officials report 429 new COVID-19 cases
To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won’t censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.