Known to be the first branch of the Filipino fast food chain in Alberta, Jollibee South Edmonton is ordered to be closed by the Alberta Health Services due to issues with social distancing and other four violations observed by inspectors on April 10.
One of the violations gathered was regarding sanitation. It read, “Careless use and storage of mixed sanitizer on both food and food related items, soaking them was observed.” On the other hand, handing out fines in Alberta is a possibility to those who are not taking social distancing seriously. Several other business closed down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but the loss of Jollibee is predicted to greatly affect citizens of Edmonton, particularly the Filipino community longing for a taste of home.
It is noted that other than bringing Jollibee international to different locations such as the US and Canada, Jollibee Foods Corporation encompasses more businesses of quick service restaurants in the Philippines and internationally than just Jollibee itself. Under its wing is also Fil-Chinese food chain Chowking, pizza chain Greenwich, cake shop Red Ribbon, unli-rice chicken restaurant Mang Inasal, among others.
The branch located on Calgary Trail and 38 Ave opened last year, August 16. While long lines and a massive crowd of customers then were welcome and a testament to Jollibee’s popularity to old and new fans alike, in times of COVID-19 it led to their temporary closure. A sign on the location’s door explains their situation to customers hoping to purchase their well-loved products like the Chickenjoy and peach mango pie.
AHS issued a statement regarding the matter saying, “Jollibee in Edmonton was issued a closure order for failing to comply with social distancing requirements inside and outside the store.” Since the rising of the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, AHS also informed the public that they are working with businesses on how to operate safely during a health crisis, to ensure the safety of their staff and patrons.
In other places like Ontario and Manitoba, both also homes to Jollibee in Canada, fines are heavier and stricter measures have also been taken by their local government. Federal Health Minister Patty Hadju urges the general public to take social distancing seriously to ensure their health and of others. As of writing, there are 2,158 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, while 914 have recovered, and 50 have died.
There is no word yet on when Jollibee South Edmonton will be allowed to reopen, and the branch is expected to make amends and comply with safety regulations to avoid the violations committed. Customers and staff alike are waiting for it to continue operations.