Ottawa Police ask south-end business with 12 people inside to close

A CTV News Ottawa viewer shared an image of Ottawa Police visiting the Bab el Hara Cafe on Wednesday, March 25

Ottawa Police shut down operations at south-end café that remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but didn’t issue a fine.

Police received a call about 12 to 14 people inside the Bab el Hara café on Bank Street near Walkley Road around 9:25 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say officers spoke to the people inside and the business closed.

Ontario declared a State of Emergency last week, and implemented various measures, including asking businesses to close to limit the spread of COVID-19. Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended limiting the size of public and private gatherings.

Ottawa Police tell CTV News Ottawa they can impose fines to businesses under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.  In this case, police say educating the patrons and the business owner was sufficient.

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