Is it worth it for restaurants to open dining rooms on Tuesday if Niagara moves to the 'Red' zone?
As Niagara businesses prepare to reopen their doors on Tuesday, restaurants will need to decide if opening in 'Red' zone is worth it.
The 'Red' zone of Ontario's framework for COVID restrictions limits in-door dining to just 10 people.
Some restaurants have said it's not financially worth reopening to such a small number, while others say they can't wait.
George Kountourogiannis from George's Greek Village Restaurant in St. Catharines tells CKTB they will open to inperson dining if Niagara is in the 'Red' zone, saying people want to get out.
"100 percent it is worth it. We were in the red for one week before Christmas, and from 11a-9pm we had ten people in here. We had to turn people away at the door. Any money that comes into the restaurant is worth it. We are here any ways. People want to get out."
Kountourogiannis says they can't wait to reopen, saying take-out has been successful, but he really misses his 40 staff members and hundreds of customers.
In 'Red', up to 4 people can be seated together.
If Niagara moves to 'Orange' up to 50 people can dine indoors, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
There is still a limit of 4 people per table.
It's not clear if Niagara's Medical Officer of Health is poised to put a rule limiting diners to sit with only members of the same household this time around, as Dr. Hirji did before Christmas.
Niagara reported 13 new cases of COVID today, but 6 new deaths were also announced.
The Ontario government is expected to announce which colour Niagara will be placed in later this week.
The region will return to the government's framework on Tuesday. Feb. 16th after going into lockdown on Boxing Day.
A stay-at-home order will remain in place until then.
ROUNDTABLE Mike Blasom and Ruth Unrau
Today at 12:01am Niagara Region moved into the RED control level of the government’s reopening framework. Hair salons, gyms, and restaurant dining rooms are set to reopen in limited capacity. Tim talks with Dr. Mustafa Hirji - Niagara's Acting Medical Officer of Health.
TIm talks to Carm LaVigna from Tootzie's Tune-Up. She talks about the frustrations of being a small business owner during these restrictive periods.