Classic Theater in GFW Occupancy Increase Denied
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The Classic Theater in Grand Falls-Windsor has been denied their request to be treated the same as bars and restaurants when it comes to occupancy rates. Currently bars and restaurants are permitted 50% capacity. Cinema's however are limited to 50% capacity OR 50 people, whichever is less. The Classic has a huge auditorium and can seat 220 people. Under the current regulations, 50 people amounts to 23% capacity. No business is able to sustain itself at this rate.
The Classic has presented a plan to the Provincial Government outlining all of the safety measures they've put in place, and have requested to have not 50%, but actually 40% of their previous capacity, which amounts to 88 people. Even though this is obviously significantly less than pre-Covid standards, it's the number they feel they can SAFELY distance their guests, while still managing to pay the bills and make it through the pandemic. Without this level of capacity, the Classic's future as one of the predominant entertainment venues in Central NL is very much in jeopardy.
While large chain stores in the area have stopped counting heads, this means there may be hundreds of people in an establishment at any one time. In many cases, with only the customers good judgement to safely distance themselves. Schools scheduled to reopen in a few weeks with potentially hundreds of kids in crowded hallways and classrooms, but 88 people in a gymnasium sized theater, with monitored seating, safely distanced, with all of the public health protocols in place....is asking too much?
On the same day that the Classic was denied an increase in capacity, the same Governemnt announced that it would be reopening two of its provincially run swimming pools. One in Gander and one in Corner Brook. Please see the excerpt below as to how they will determine capacity for those venues...
"There will be a reduced number of individuals permitted within provincially operated pools at any one time. Capacity may be determined by a number of factors including, the size of the space"
So if the size of the space can be used as a determining factor for the reopening of the government run venues, how is it not possible that this same rationale cannot be used for a small private business. Keep in mind that there will be dozens of people in the SAME BODY OF WATER.
We have no issue whatsoever with the reopening of any business or the capacity limit to those currently in operation. The Classic is a big supporter of local and we know how hard it is for any business to survive, even at 50%. All we are asking for is a fair shot at survival after being shut down for almost 5 months.
To Dr. Haggie and Dr. Fitzgerald...you asked that we close our business...we did. You asked that after 5 months of closure, we invest significantly in all the measures you deemed safe for us to reopen...we did. You schooled us on how to treat this virus...we listened and did as you asked. You've said we now need to learn to live with Covid 19 and we are prepared to do that. But you also need to do your part now and apply the rules fairly. We are not asking for more than we can handle and we are asking for less than you've given to others.
We are just asking for fairness. 50% for bars and restaurants but only 23% for the theater with 4 to 5 times the space?
Please sign the petition and share. We need your support to let our Governement know that we demand fair treatment. Our survival in Central NL is dependant upon it.
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