This is why reopening bars in Montreal has been such a debacle so far
Despite the fact that Quebec was the hardest-hit province in the country at the peak of the pandemic, bars in Montreal have been open to the public for a couple of weeks now.
The decision to open the establishments caused some controversy and questioning from those who highlighted that consuming alcohol in an indoor space is likely to lead to a lack of compliance with safety measures, and it seems they were right.
Anyone who's been to a bar in the city since July 1 is now being asked to get tested for COVID-19, as at least five businesses in the city have reported infections among patrons or staff and eight cases have been identified so far.
AVIS À LA POPULATION - CAS DE #COVID19 DANS DES BARS DE LA RÉGION DE #MONTRÉAL | La #SantépubliqueMTL appelle les personnes qui ont fréquenté ou travaillé dans des #bars de la région depuis le 1er juillet à se faire dépister https://t.co/Q2Nt7P7KB9 pic.twitter.com/TfCCl1eVFB— Dre Mylène Drouin, directrice santé publique Mtl (@Santepub_Mtl) July 11, 2020
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has likewise urged those who've been to a bar in recent weeks to go get tested, and lineups of bar patrons and staff members outside COVID-19 testing centres were reported as a result on Sunday.
Anyone who has been at a bar since July 1st, please follow this PSA. The nice summer weather may be upon us, but the virus is far from gone. For everyone’s safety, let's respect public health guidelines: stay safe, respect the 2m distance, wear a face-covering. #polmtl— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) July 12, 2020
Last week, in response to the uptick in cases, Quebec mandated that all bars must close at midnight, and they must have a reduced capacity of up to 50 per cent.
Customers are also required to consume alcohol while sitting down and are not permitted to dance, and staff members must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times while on the job.
But the new cases have prompted many to call for bars to shut down entirely once again in order to avoid a massive, dangerous outbreak.
Oh my god #Montréal close the bars. Who is going to go to bars but people who aren't being careful? My dad might have to do chemo ALONE and any hospitalization still be alone and YOU OPENED THE BARS?! https://t.co/CtYXDPiTDj— Steph and Odin 👩🐕pew pew pew (@autumnbreezed) July 12, 2020
In response to these calls, Director of Montreal Public Health Dr. Mylène Drouin tweeted that they're currently looking into it and residents can rest assured they'll make the best possible decision for the public health situation.
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