February 8, 2022 – While the announcements made by the Alberta Government today were a move in the right direction it still leaves the hospitality industry in a precarious position with many within the industry feeling unclear and frustrated. 

 

We have already received a high volume of inquiries to our association from operators voicing feedback from customers because of the lack of clear communication in today’s press conference. It is evident that the general public and the media do not fully understand how businesses in the hospitality industry have been, and will continue to be, impacted until all restrictions are lifted.

 

The hospitality industry wants an understanding as to why REP would be lifted before other restrictions such as table capacity, curfew and approved socializing and events throughout our operations. Removal of REP without loosening additional restrictions will continue to see operators enduring huge losses daily. 

 

There is no data to support, or deny, that the curfew had any influence on the spread of covid with this current variant as there was no testing or contact tracing in the province. Moving forward with no testing or tracing AHA wants assurance that the hospitality industry will not continue to be targeted.

 

For several months AHA along with key stakeholders in the hospitality industry have requested meetings with the Alberta Government to discuss the dire status of our sector, insight of a plan moving forward and support to help ensure businesses can stop hemorrhaging money and retain the hard working staff that have now been put through five targeted closures. 

 

To move forward confidently with the second level of restrictions lifting and avoid another closure or reinforced restrictions we ask for: 

  • A clear understanding of what the actual metrics and benchmarks the government requires to move into phase 2.
  • Clarity about which additional restrictions will be lifted in phase 2 specific to the hospitality industry as the government website currently does not provide any information.
  • A clear plan of provincial support for the hospitality industry which was unfairly targeted with closures during the fifth wave of restrictions. 

The AHA is once again requesting a hospitality specific round table with decision makers within government which include Premier Kenney, Doug Schweitzer (Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation), and Jason Copping (Minister of Health), along with our key stakeholders to discuss the current reopening plan, the effects the industry has faced over the last two years, and how we can legitimately move forward successfully.

 

The Alberta Hospitality Association