Cops visit more than 2,000 Quebec bars and restaurants; hand out 90 tickets

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by Amy Luft, CTV Montreal

Quebec police officers carried out more than 2,000 visits in the province's restaurants and bars over the weekend, issuing 90 tickets for COVID-19 infractions.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault outlined the results of Operation OSCAR that was carried out by police officers throughout the province over the weekend.

Fines were issued for infractions including people not wearing masks, bars being too crowded, alcohol served after hours, people not distancing, and people drinking while standing up.

Another 1,500 verbal warnings were given, say Guilbault, who called the operation a "great success."

The operation was carried out throughout the province, though particular attention was paid to regions in the "yellow" zones, some of which were raised to "orange" alert on Sunday night.

Montreal police confirmed they issued 37 infractions, carrying out 346 visits to 328 establishments over the weekend.

The 37 infractions were handed out in 21 restaurants and bars and included:

  •  16 for not wearing a mask
  •  5 for customers present after hours
  •  4 for not respecting social distancing
  •  4 for drinking alcohol while standing
  •  4 for tables with more than 10 people 
  •  3 for not having kept a register
  •  1 for dancing

"People who do not follow the guidelines are exposing themselves to sanctions," said Guilbault. Those sanctions can reach as much as $6,000.

Guilbault said the operation was welcomed by many bar owners who said they were struggling to police the COVID-19 guidelines themselves inside their establishments.

The deputy premier also called on Quebecers to limit their contacts to six people inside a private gathering, saying there can be no more parties. Guilbault said she is still ironing out details to allow police to intervene in house parties that break COVID-19 regulations.

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