A restaurant in Alberta, Canada, was temporarily shut down after staff were caught accepting dog pictures instead of vaccine passports or a negative COVID test result from guests.
COVID-related restrictions in Alberta dictate that any restaurant that wants to remain open without stringent restrictions can only serve fully vaccinated people or those who produce a negative COVID result from a PCR test administered within 72 hours.
Staff at The Granary Kitchen, a restaurant in the city of Red Deer, seemingly went rogue: instead of screening for vaccine status, they asked for dog pics.
“Complaints were received… that employees are allowing patrons to dine-in when presented with a photograph of a dog and personal identification,” said an Alberta Health Services order for closure, dated Jan. 14.
Alberta Health Services said it sent two test shoppers to investigate after receiving complaints. The test shoppers visited the restaurant at separate times and both were able dine-in after showing photographs of dogs.
In response, the public health authority immediately shut down indoor dining at the restaurant.
The restaurant confirmed the closure on Facebook last week.
“To our valued guests, we had an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses, and the requirements for the (restrictions exemption program),” the post says. “We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup.”
The Granary did not respond to VICE World News request for comment by the time of publication.
AHS had also set conditions for reopening, including a written plan and commitment from the owners detailing how they would implement vaccine passports going forward. It appears the restaurant is now open again. On Wednesday, the restaurant posted again, this time encouraging people to make reservations, but that didn’t stop it from making international headlines for its alleged grift.
Alberta, known for its conservative bent, has the second lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Canada when compared to other provinces and territories. To date, about 78 percent of Albertans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, compared to about 83 percent of Canadians.
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