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Vancouver restaurant shut down for not following B.C.'s COVID rules allowed to re-open

All of the restaurant's staff have exemptions to the province's face mask mandate
Supporters of Corduroy restaurant's vocal stance against provincial COVID restrictions are seen gathered outside in April 2021.

After refusing to follow COVID-19 precautions, Corduroy Restaurant is back in business after a suspension that lasted for 27 days. 

On Oct. 20, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) served Rebecca Matthews, Corduroy's owner, a closure order due to contravening Provincial Health Officer orders. Specifically, the restaurant's activities were suspended for non-compliance with Face Coverings Order and the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order. As a result of the closure order, the City of Vancouver also suspended Corduroy’s business license.

However, on Nov. 15 VCH approved a revised permit to operate. This permit limits Corduroy to take out service only, and requires that an approved safety plan is in place according to a statement from the City of Vancouver.

“Any business which is issued a closure order by public health is legally obliged to remain closed until such time as public health determines the business is compliant,” VCH wrote in an emailed statement to Vancouver Is Awesome

Matthews, who provides regular updates of Corduroy’s status through the restaurant's Instagram page, was excited by Monday’s news.

“It’s not just for us and that is our goal here,” Matthews said. “We are taking a stand for all business owners, for all citizens, for anyone that’s being ostracized and not allowed to do things. This is what we’re taking on.” 

In the same update, Matthews mentioned all her staff have mask exemptions.

Matthews also said she hopes the restaurant will be back to serving customers by Nov. 18 in a “cafeteria-style” setting. This setup, according to Matthews, allows her staff not to ask for proof of vaccination. Whatever the layout may be, a spokesperson with VCH says it will have to comply with PHO orders and a COVID-19 safety plan.