A Chinese restaurant in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, is accused of banning Chinese people from entering the building because of fears of coronavirus, the Cape Breton Post reports. One young woman says she was told she could have her food delivered instead.
Olivia Lu, one of many students of Chinese ancestry attending Cape Breton University, alleged that she and some friends went to Fortune Star Chinese Restaurant for a meal and had sat down to order, before being abruptly informed that they had to leave.
She added that she was later told Chinese students are not allowed in the building until further notice.
“They told them they don’t accept Chinese students anymore. They said they could call and place an order and call delivery man to pick it up,” she said.
She also claimed that a sign was posted on the door which, when translated from Mandarin into English, reads as follows.
“Due to the recent outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan for the safety of everyone, our store does not accept Chinese students for the time being. If necessary, you can call for deliver. Sorry for the inconvenience, please forgive me.”
News of the sign spread around the area, prompting outrage among the students. Later, another sign turned up on the building’s door, saying that they would be closed for a month.
Lu and other Chinese students in the area are accusing the restaurant’s owners of discriminating against their own people.
“It’s discrimination, it’s ridiculous, it’s so rude,” she said.
What’s more, she said that she finds it a bit hypocritical that the restaurant is banning Chinese people, considering that its owners and its employees are from the same country.
Ken Zhou, who owns the establishment, did not deny that he put up a sign announcing such a ban. But he said that he did so out of an abundance of caution. He noted that several international students in the area have flown between China and Canada recently, and he has no way of knowing who has been in Canada for a long time and who just came in recently.
“We are Chinese, they are Chinese, we are not discriminating,” he said.
As for the month-long closure, Zhou said that it had less to do with the controversy over his decision and more to do with the fact that he and his wife are worried about their family back in China. What’s more, they’re short on help and want to take a break.
“We will open again at the end of the month,” he says.