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Canadian restaurant forced to partially close after accepting dog photos as vaccination proof

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A Canadian restaurant was ordered to close its indoor operations briefly after it was discovered to be accepting dog photos as proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Alberta, where The Granary Kitchen is located, requires restaurants to get proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test or a medical exemption from the vaccine from all customers.

Alberta Health Services sent an executive order to the restaurant on Jan. 14 saying that it needed to shut down indoor services following an investigation of the establishment. 

According to the order, the health authority received complaints that the restaurant was allowing customers to dine indoors when they presented dog pictures and personal identification. The authority said it sent two “test shoppers” there on two separate occasions and both were permitted to dine in the restaurant after showing staff pictures of dogs and personal identification.

“In both instances, facility staff used a tablet to make it appear as if they were scanning a QR code when in fact the staff member was presented with a photograph of a dog. The staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine in services,” the order states. 

The Granary Kitchen announced that it would temporarily close in a post on its Facebook page on Friday.

“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 REP program,” the post said, referring to Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program, which allows participating businesses to operate with fewer COVID-19 restrictions if they require proof of vaccination or negative test results from patrons aged 12 and older.

“We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup,” the post continued. “We look forward to serving you again as soon as we are ready to reopen.”

The restaurant also offered free coffee with to-go orders over the weekend.

The restaurant did not announce that it was reopening, but activity on its Facebook page indicated that it had.

In order for the restaurant to reopen indoor dining services, the order said the establishment needed to submit a written a plan showing how it would comply with Alberta’s COVID-19 measures, train staff in implementing required restrictions, provide written confirmation that staff were so trained and attend an administrative hearing with the Environmental Public Health department to show the plans and statements.

Tags Alberta Alberta Health Services Canada coronavirus vaccine mandate COVID-19 covid-19 restrictions vaccine mandate

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