Crowded Stanley Cup party in Montreal's Old Port raises concern amid rise of delta variant

·2 min read
Crowded Stanley Cup party in Montreal's Old Port raises concern amid rise of delta variant
A video shows diners at Fish Bone in Montreal's Old Port not following sanitary guidelines.  (TBD - image credit)
A video shows diners at Fish Bone in Montreal's Old Port not following sanitary guidelines. (TBD - image credit)

A restaurant in Montreal's Old Port is facing criticism after a Stanley Cup victory celebration got out of hand, with revellers failing to follow COVID-19 public health restrictions.

Cell phone video shows Tampa Bay Lightning player Alex Killorn, who was born in Montreal, bringing the Stanley Cup into Fish Bone, a trendy seafood restaurant, last Friday.

When inside, he's surrounded by dozens of people, cramming in to be a part of the moment.

There isn't a mask in sight.

Someone who visited the restaurant earlier that night told CBC News she saw no one respecting any COVID regulations.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she left immediately — afraid for her safety.

Martin Vézina, a spokesperson for Quebec's restaurant association, said establishments need to ensure they're providing a safe environment for customers and staff, and owners are ultimately responsible.

"If we don't want to be closed down again, we need to follow sanitary guidelines," he said.

In Quebec, masks are mandatory in restaurants, except when seated to eat or drink. Starting in September, patrons will also be required to show proof of vaccination under the newly announced vaccination passport.

Fish Bone declined a request for an interview from CBC News, but a manager said they strictly follow all COVID regulations and are inspected regularly.

He admitted Friday's Stanley Cup event got out of hand, but said he shut the restaurant down early to calm things down.

100 interventions at restaurants

In a statement, Marie-Claude Lacasse, a spokesperson for Quebec's Health Ministry, said "we strongly condemn any establishment which does not respect the sanitary rules in force and which endangers its customers by these failures."

"This is all the more worrying as we see a marked increase in cases and the delta variant gains ground," Lacasse said, adding that anyone who sees the rules disregarded should contact police or Quebec's workplace health and safety board, the CNESST.

The CNESST said they have not received a complaint for this specific restaurant.

The oversight body has received at least 25 COVID protocol complaints overall since late June — and have intervened more than 100 times.

Montreal police declined to comment about this specific case, but say they are still investigating reports of defiance of health regulations.

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