Working around COVID-19

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So far, 2020 continues to surprise us and keep us on our toes. No one expected this year to be what it is turning out to be: CoronaVirus, border shutdowns, social distancing, longer-than-expected closures, high unemployment and street demonstrations. Slowly, the restrictions are easing up and most of us in the hospitality industry are wondering what that means for us. Understandably, cancellations have been coming in. Reservations not so much, and that’s to be expected until everyone can feel safe again. When will that be? I suspect it will take a few years for the hospitality industry, as a whole, to return to some kind of “normal.”

Things are far from normal here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Shaw Festival is closed until August 1—so far. Stores are open but admission is restricted to only a few customers at a time. Please remember to bring your mask and be prepared to wear it.

Restaurants, so far, are only offering curbside and patio service. Hopefully, that will loosen up a bit more as the summer goes on, however capacity will probably be limited to 50% capacity. Reservations are definitely berequired.

Wine tastings at wineries are by reservation only. So, please remember to book ahead. Wine-tasting coupons are only honoured if you mention them at time of booking.

Hotels are also opening at 30% to 50% capacity, depending on the circumstances and the risks management is willing to take.

Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake was eerily quiet during the COVID-19 crisis on Victoria Day Weekend in 2020—normally one of our busiest weekends.

 

As for B&Bs, the situation is a much more challenging. Prior to COVID-19, the intimate, friendly experience B&Bs were known for may now pose a problem for some guests—and owners. How do we ensure safe distancing in such close quarters yet deliver the service for which we are known? As you can imagine, spent a lot of time thinking of different scenarios.

IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 CRISIS, we decided not to open for the 2020 season. Even with all the precautions in place, it would be near impossible for guests—and us—to maintain social distancing in our home. As sad as we are to take this decision, we do not wish to expose our guests to possible illness through contact with us or other guests who may not know they are carrying the virus.

We will be here in 2021 and we sincerely hope you will keep us in mind for your next visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please stay safe and stay healthy.

Our cancellation policy has been adapted for 2020.

Any deposits charged for 2020 reservations will be fully reimbursed, unless you simply wish to change your dates to sometime 2021. The 10% deposit will apply to all 2021 reservations.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Your hosts, Fernando & Donna Vieira, invite you to come and taste the difference at Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.