Operators of a Surrey pub say COVID-protocol police targeted them for having St. Patrick’s Day decorations on tables.
A video posted to Brownsville Pub’s Facebook page shows a woman named Jamie, the bar’s entertainment director, reacting to a visit by inspectors early Wednesday evening (March 17).
“Fraser Health and bylaws and liquor inspector just came in and forced us take down all the decorations – everything is gone, because that’s what was causing COVID, all the decorations for St. Patrick’s Day,” Jamie says, with sarcasm, in the minute-long video.
“They made us take down all the decorations from the tables, because oh my god, the decorations on the tables are what’s causing the problems in this province, so they’re nothing but a bunch of (expletive). Anyways, I don’t even know what to say, I’m dumbfounded. I can’t believe that four of them accosted us outside and made us take down everything off the tables, all the glitter… clean the floors, everything, because that’s promoting a theme. I can’t even believe this.”
Earlier on Facebook, the pub advertised live music by the band Las Divas from 4 to 8 p.m., last call at 8 p.m. and a closing time of 8:30 p.m., in line with provincial health regulations for St. Patrick’s Day.
The rules were similar to those brought in on New Year’s Eve, when liquor sales were ordered to stop at 8 p.m. instead of the 10 p.m. limit in place for much of the pandemic.
Carrie Stefanson, Fraser Health’s Senior Public Affairs Consultant, theorized about why inspectors asked Brownsville Pub staff to remove some of the decorations.
“This might be more related to protocols involving cleaning of tables and how that can be done properly if tablecloths are on them, that kind of thing.”
Brownsville Pub supervisor Lilian Phillimore said the establishment has followed all COVID rules and regulations in recent months, including on St. Patrick’s Day.
“Nobody was moving around and everybody complied with the rules,” she told the Now-Leader. “Wear your mask when you have to get up and go to the bathroom, no socializing, and we have barriers in here to keep people separated. It’s ridiculous.”