Winnipeg Restaurants Temporarily Close Their Doors As COVID Cases Rise


Winnipeg’s list of places to grab a bite to eat is shrinking as several restaurants are temporarily closing due to growing COVID-19 concerns.

Kevin Byrne, managing partner at Confusion Corner Drinks and Food, said one of his staff members tested positive for the virus on Monday, so he decided to get a quick test.

“I tested positive on Tuesday. Once I found out for myself, I closed it, because I am in close contact with all my staff, “Byrne told CTV News.

Byrne said that after announcing the closure, he began contacting customers to cancel reservations.

“It sounds easy, but it’s not because there are a lot of people who contacted me after asking if they were seen by someone who tested positive,” Byrne said.

“All my staff should be tested, but a lot of them were in line three, four, five hours and they won’t get results until after Christmas.”

Confusion Corner Drinks and Food is not the only restaurant in the area that is closing due to positive cases.

The Roost on Corydon Avenue announced on social media that it would be temporarily shutting down because people close to them have tested positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results.

The Handsome Daughter on Sherbrook Street also took to social media saying it would be shutting down temporarily while it awaits COVID test results.

Shaun Jeffrey, president of the Manitoba Restaurant and Food Service Association, said the decision to close just before the holidays is not an easy one.

“The most important thing is keeping Manitobans and their staff safe, and that comes (with) some consequences for their livelihood and running their business,” Jeffrey said.

On Wednesday, the province announced a new financial aid program to help offset costs for businesses going through the fourth wave of COVID.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding said aid amounts will vary depending on the number of staff employed.

“If you go to Corydon, for example, and you see restaurants there, they probably have 20+ employees or more, so they could ask for around $ 9,000 of support.”

Jeffrey said the show is a good start.

“What we are dealing with now will be a rotating collaboration between the industries that are affected the most by the government.”

Jeffrey is asking Manitobaans to continue to show their support for the industry by ordering takeout and purchasing gift cards.

Byrne predicts that Confusion Corner Drinks and Food will have to stay closed for the next two weeks while the staff get tested, and will likely fire them so they can collect employment insurance while the restaurant is closed.

“Pretty much my priority right now is finding ways to make sure (employees) get some kind of income.”

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