In light of returning restrictions in Alberta in terms of in-room dining, the board of directors of the Alberta Hospitality Association have issued a public response to the provincial government. The AHA aims to stress that these new restrictions will only further negatively impact their industry.
Here is their open letter in its entirety:
"The Alberta Hospitality Association (AHA) expresses its strong opposition to the recent Provincial Government and AHS restrictions placed on the Hospitality Industry. These restrictions, which are not based on any presented science or data, single out and target our industry.
These restrictions, which will cost the jobs, and income, of hard working Albertans come with no discussion of subsidies or support from the government for our industry that has been devastated over the last 22 months.
Throughout the pandemic, AHA has attempted to work with AHS and The Government of Alberta to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality community at an immense cost to our members. The industry has suffered financially and emotionally and in many cases with severe and long term mental health impacts.
We urge all Albertans to hold our government officials accountable. AHA demands the Alberta Government and AHS provide Albertans with measurable metrics moving forward so we can make important decisions to fight for the survival of our businesses and industry as a whole. We also demand that industry specific financial and mental health supports be provided to support our workers who have to suffer through another set of restrictive measures that are going to have a massive effect on their financial standings.
We urge AHA members, as well as anyone operating within the hospitality industry to push back against these blanket policies and fight for your right to operate your businesses. You have a right to provide for your family, friends and community in a safe and responsible manner."
Summary of the new restrictions in place for restaurants
Alberta restaurants and bars that are taking part in the Restrictions Exemption Program (i.e. REP) now have a cap of 10 patrons per table. As well, last call for alcohol must take place at 11 p.m. and all establishments must close by 12:30 a.m. for the foreseeable future.