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Edmonton pub defying COVID-19 restrictions, remains open

The owners of a north Edmonton pub said they are not going to close in-person dining despite new COVID-19 measures announced this week requiring them to do so.

Crown and Anchor Pub and Grill owners Theresa and Terry Shaw said they will stand by their values and remain open.

“We are doing this for amazing, dedicated staff and for our loyal customers who value our business and have made the choice to assess their own risk associated with in-person dining,” the owners wrote in a statement.

“We will continue to uphold capacity and cleaning standards and cannot emphasize how much we understand the duty and care government and Alberta Health have to Alberta.”

READ MORE: Alberta restaurants close to in-person dining as COVID-19 restrictions take effect

Effective noon Friday, Alberta restaurants must now close to indoor dining service. Takeout, delivery, curbside pickup and patios are still allowed to operate under additional public health restrictions announced Tuesday by Premier Jason Kenney.

It is the third time since last March that Alberta restaurants have been forced to close their doors.

The Shaws said they complied with the measures on the previous two occasions but, “That is over. We have done our part. It is time for the provincial government and Alberta Health to do their part.”

“The benchmarks have moved so many times these past six months that trust and competence are significantly questionable,” the statement read.

Click to play video: Central Alberta restaurants stay open in defiance of new health rules

A number of other restaurants and pubs around Alberta have defied provincial restrictions and remained opened for in-person dining, including the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., and All Jacked Up Bar and Grill in Didsbury, Alta.

“She’s a pillar of this community and she’s in financial ruin because of this law that we don’t think is just,” Didsbury resident Gavin Smith said. “They’re masking. The rules are being followed.”

READ MORE: Alberta doctors say new restrictions ‘not enough’ to reduce spread of COVID-19

After the restrictions were announced Tuesday, a spokesperson with Alberta Health said the measures were based on evidence in the province and around the world that show settings like fitness facilities and restaurants are at increased risk of disease transmission.

“Restaurants, as with similar settings where people congregate together, have a higher risk due to people sitting closely together, typically unmasked, for extended periods of time,” Tom McMillan said.

“We have also observed a number of recent cases and outbreaks linked to restaurants and fitness settings across the province.”

The premier said Alberta is on track to have 2,000 new infections a day and 1,000 people in hospital with COVID-19 by the end of April, and that the third wave is being driven by variants.

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