A restaurant industry group says it is disappointed by restaurateurs who defy COVID-19 public health orders.
The owners of two Corydon Avenue restaurants were hit with $40,000 in fines for allowing unmasked and unvaccinated patrons to eat indoors, which contravenes the current health regulations.
Provincial enforcement shut down Monstrosity Burger and Tuxedo Village Family Restaurant, both at 2090 Corydon Ave., to indoor dining Monday.
Owners Dave Jones and Paulina Jojnowicz have received eight tickets for $5,000 since Sept. 6. The restaurant received two tickets Sept. 6-12, and six more Sept. 13-19.
Jones decried the indoor-dining closure as corruption in an online post, but said the businesses would not allow dine-in until speaking with their lawyers.
Shaun Jeffrey, executive director of the Manitoba Restaurant & Foodservices Association, said the organization and rule-following restaurants are working with government to address the changing regulations and to allow businesses to safely operate.
"When you have a few rogue operations that take it upon themselves to make their own rules and not follow the health orders, it pushes those talks and that progress back," Jeffrey said Thursday.
"It makes government rethink their decisions and how long it will take, it affects everybody and that’s the sad part. We’re all trying to work together to get through this."
Jeffrey said he hopes Manitobans know the vast majority of restaurants are following the health regulations to the letter.
"There's not a single restaurant operator in the province of Manitoba who wants restrictions... We need to get back to serving as many Manitobans as we can, in the safest environment possible, but when you have these hiccups happen and we have people going outside the health regulations, it causes that progress to deteriorate."
Two other Manitoba restaurants received $5,000 fines in the past week, both in Winkler: Chicken Chef and Toppers Family Restaurant.
Erik Pindera is a multimedia producer at the Winnipeg Free Press.