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Calgary restaurant ordered to close for offering dine-in, shisha service. Activities could promote spread of COVID-19, order stated

Just days before restaurants in Calgary will be allowed to reopen, one on 17th Avenue was ordered closed for allowing customers to eat and smoke shisha inside its establishment.

Soby's Eatery, at 1131 17th Avenue S.W., was ordered closed on Wednesday by Alberta Health Services, after it was observed to be offering dine-in food and shisha service.

It was the second restaurant in Calgary ordered to close for offering shisha smoking since the beginning of the pandemic.

An article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in April cautioned that shisha smoking poses a high risk for transmission of COVID-19, as the shared pipes are difficult to clean and contain a cold water reservoir, and the smoke can put users at increased risk of lung infection.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen for table service at 50 per cent capacity starting Monday, but the establishments will be required to follow guidelines that promote physical distancing and other health and safety precautions.

Shisha still not allowed after relaunch
But shisha or hookah will not be allowed following Monday's relaunch, along with other bar activities like dancing, billiards, VLTs and karaoke.

More than a dozen businesses in Calgary have been the subject of closure orders for breaking public health rules relating to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the AHS website.