Collingwood eatery refuses to serve ‘red zone’ residents, asks for proof of residency

A single new case of COVID-19 in Collingwood Monday among 1,589 new cases provincially

A restaurant in Ontario’s most popular ski town is receiving plenty of local support for refusing to serve “red zone” residents amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The Curly Willow in Collingwood says it will no longer be able to accommodate residents of red zone areas. The eatery is now asking patrons for proof of residency.

In a message posted to Facebook, the Curly Willow said the move is meant to help flatten the curve.

“These are challenging times, and we must do our part to flatten the curve. We look forward to opening our doors to all, once things turn around. Thanks for your support,” the statement read.

NEW COVID PROTOCOLS AT THE CURLY WILLOW EATERY In order to keep our staff and customers safe for indoor dining, we will…

Posted by The Curly Willow on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The 100 plus comments on that post are overwhelmingly in favour of the decision to implement the “locals only” policy.

One comment suggested more local restaurants should follow their lead. Others wrote about helping to support the Curly Willow in the absence of the “Toronto crowd.”

The comments

“You are a business that locals should flock to support. We are all stakeholders in the health and safety of our own communities and your leadership is amazing. I live in Barrie and the stories of residents from the GTA packing local restaurants are concerning.”

“I have never been to your establishment but as a local, I am going to make a point to come here just because you guys have the guts to do something like this to try to keep our community safe. Kudos.”

“Thank you! You have taken a stand to protect your patrons and friends, for that, you are to be applauded.

“It is nice to see a business take a stand.”

“We will make an extra effort to support you.”

“Never been to your restaurant, but I have a lot of respect for you for implementing this. Thanks for helping to keep us safe.”

“An excellent choice and thank you for protecting the locals.”

“I wish other restaurants here would do the same. If that happened I am sure more of us would visit them.

**UPDATE ** WOW What was merely a post notifying our loyal customers of our new safety policy, became a showing of…

Posted by The Curly Willow on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

This isn’t the first restaurant to implement measures like this. There are similar stories in the Niagara Region.

In a similar statement published to Facebook, Romby’s Tavern & Smokehouse in St. Catharines said patrons need proof of residency.

Some other local establishments, like Ruby Tattoo in Barrie, are asking residents in red zones to re-schedule appointments once their areas move out of that red zone classification.

Of the 1,589 new COVID-19 cases Ontario reported on Monday, there was only one new case reported in Collingwood.

Peel region reported 535 new cases Monday. Toronto reported 336. York Region showed 205 new cases.

Canada added 5,713 new novel coronavirus infections on Monday, with a total of 2,148 people hospitalized from the virus, with 269,202 recoveries.