Merchants and restaurateurs are seeing in the application of the new measure of compulsory wearing of the covers, face an extra source of hassle that may scare the customer.
13 July 2020 18h39
Updated at 21h34
Mandatory wearing of the mask: exasperation merchants
The mandatory wearing of the covers-face in enclosed public places, which comes into force on Saturday in order to counter a possible second wave of COVID-19, is not without creating a concert of exasperation among merchants and restaurateurs. If all of them say that they will respect the new measure, the law requires, they see in its application an additional source of hassle that may scare the customer.
At the end of the wire, the director-general of the Grand Market of Quebec, Daniel Tremblay, lets out a long sigh. “Honestly, we are going to conform (to the guidelines), we do not have the choice, but it does not help a lot of traders. This is not a new pleasing to the retail trade. I do not believe that this is an incentive for people to come (to see us), on the contrary.”
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With its many entries, the Grand Market is a place where it will be difficult to control all of the visitors, said Mr. Tremblay. It does not exclude the hiring of staff in order to ensure the implementation of this new directive.
“It will be necessary to monitor all of the world. If that happens no mask and he is caught, it is the market that is going to be fine. It will be necessary to have eyes all around the head and play to the police.”
The owner of the restaurant La Scala, on boulevard René-Lévesque, Marc-Antoine Munoz does not mince its words with respect to this health measure. He also feared a loss of interest in the customers, even if the government Legault said on Monday that the guests will remove their mask once seated in the establishment.
“In my humble opinion, I think it’s ridiculous. The government is going too far. When there were 1000 cases of contagion each day, we were told not to put (mask); now that there are a hundred, it is necessary to put. There is no logic (…) I don’t want to get in a fight with the customers. If there are any who refuse to wear a mask, what do I do?”
This new directive may be the last nail in the coffin of several restorers, said Mr. Munoz. “After me, the people who were on the verge of closing, will close. For me, it’s been 21 years that I am the owner of my building. My business is paid. It helps a lot. But I have a lot of fellow restorers who have told me that they were almost sure to close in September.”
Sticks in the wheels
“We will adapt, we will follow the rules, we don’t have a choice, lance Camil Lacroix, owner of the restaurant Chaz avenue Maguire. “But the clients who are afraid, I think they will stay home.” He also wonders about how to manage the mask-wearing among the clients, for example during their visit to the toilet.
Since the number of cases of contagion varies from one region to the other, Mr. Lacroix questioned the relevance of requiring all canadians to carry the cover face. “It is sure that we put a spoke in the wheels. It doesn’t help.”
“It will be necessary to monitor all of the world. If that happens no mask and he is caught, it is the market that is going to be fine. It will be necessary to have eyes all around the head and play to the police ”
The director-general of the Grand Market of Quebec, Daniel Tremblay
Same goes to Société de développement commercial (SDC) Saint-Sauveur, where the director-general Marylou Boulianne explained that it is a new constraint for the traders. “It adds a layer of more. It is sure that they are big regulations. It is necessary to manage the queues, hygiene measures, and now the port of the mask. It feels like a lot. At the same time, I think everyone understands the situation in which one finds oneself. We don’t want there to be a second wave.”
Conversely, not all the traders who are vexed by the mandatory wearing of the mask. Maryse Dubeau, manager of the fabric store Fabricville, in the quartier Vanier, sees the directive as “a very good eye”.
“We followed religiously the rules of the CNESST, this one, we will follow him also,” she says. 50 to 60 % of its customers already have had the mask. “It’s going to go to 100 %. And our customers thank us.”
For its part, the canadian Federation of independent business (CFIB) said Monday in a statement that it respected the decision of the government, so that”it is at five minutes to midnight before a second wave of contagion of the COVID-19 does not occur”, but that apply to the small company “to be fully responsible for the actions of consumers, which however are beyond its reasonable control” appears to him as “not very fair”.
Therefore, the agency, which has 110 000 members in all spheres of activities in the country, asked for a “waiting period” to the government before the imposition of the fines can vary from $ 400 to $ 6000. For the CFIB, the traders do not have to be a substitute for the police.
“(…) Only 20% of québec companies do their usual income for this period of the year. Many, therefore, cannot afford to lose customers and will provide the necessary equipment at their own cost. Others simply do not want to be forced to expel a customer or refuse him a service, if they think that this will lead to an altercation. The physical removal of a person should only meet of the spring forces of the order.”