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Canadian restaurant ordered to close after accepting dog photos instead of vaccination proof

Alberta Health Services issued the closure order after it investigated complaints about the Granary Kitchen in Red Deer.

A Canadian restaurant was ordered to temporarily cease its indoor dining services after allowing customers to present dog photos instead of proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or negative test results, health officials said.

Alberta Health Services issued the closure order Friday after it investigated complaints about the Granary Kitchen in Red Deer, the agency said

Two investigators posing as customers entered Granary Kitchen separately and at different times after providing photos and personal identification to restaurant staff, the agency said in the order.

"In both instances, facility staff used a tablet to make it appear as if they were scanning a QR code when in fact the staff member was presented with a photograph of a dog," the agency said. "The staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine in services."

The restaurant was ordered to close its indoor dining area and submit a written Covid-19 compliance plan that follows the province's indoor dining rules. Granary Kitchen was also ordered to train employees on the rules.

In a Facebook post Friday, the restaurant called the incident "an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses."

"We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup," the restaurant said. "We look forward to serving you again as soon as we are ready to reopen. In closing we would like to remind everyone of the tremendous pressure being placed on front staff, and please remember to be kind."

The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for a comment, but a woman who answered the Granary Kitchen's phone Wednesday said it had reopened for indoor dining.