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Restaurant in Hope that wouldn't check vaccine status closes, unclear for how long

A Hope restaurant that has been flouting COVID-19 health regulations for more than a month was closed on Wednesday, but it’s not clear for how long.
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Rolly’s Restaurant in Hope. Google Street View

A Hope restaurant that has been flouting COVID-19 health regulations for more than a month was closed on Wednesday, but it’s not clear for how long.

Rolly’s Restaurant closed two days after the Fraser Health Authority filed a court application seeking an injunction to close it for its failure to check on the vaccination status of patrons. The restaurant had also had its business licence suspended.

“Up until today, Rolly’s Restaurant has been continuing to operate despite the fact that their business licence has been suspended,” Donna Bellingham, the District of Hope’s director of corporate services, wrote in an email Wednesday. “Today they did not open, but we have not received any notification from them to indicate that this is a closure that will continue. With that said, bylaw enforcement will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.”

The owners of the restaurant could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Fraser Health said in an email that the injunction application was heard in court on Wednesday, but could not say if a decision was delivered by the judge.

In September, in response to rising COVID numbers, provincial health officials ordered that for people to participate in certain non-essential activities, such as eating in restaurants, they would have to provide proof of COVID vaccinations.

A few days after the order went into effect, a Hope bylaw officer received a complaint that the restaurant was not checking for proof of vaccination, according to a notice filed in B.C. Supreme Court by the Fraser Health Authority on Oct. 18.

When a bylaw enforcement officer went to the restaurant, it was clear that restaurant staff were not confirming proof of vaccination and one of the co-owners advised that he would not do so, says the lawsuit.

In the following weeks, the restaurant continued to disobey the health order and received a number of $345 violation tickets, it says.