Operation OSCAR results in two warnings, one fine in Sherbrooke

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

After completing the three-day Opération Systématisée Comportements À Risque (OSCAR) over the weekend, the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS) revealed it visited 39 establishments, 35 bars and four restaurants, handing out two warnings and one fine.
“The goal of the operation was to raise awareness, and to remind owners that these visits could happen again in the future, it’s possible,” said SPS spokesperson Martin Carrier, adding that besides a few cases all of the other establishments were perfect.
In a press release, the SPS said they doled out two warnings for overcapacity, while the fine was given to a restaurant because not only was it overcapacity, but it lacked a registration form at the entrance, which is required of all bars and restaurants.
The SPS confirmed that the restaurant in question was Caffucino located at 1700 King Ouest. The amount of the fine is uncertain, Carrier explained. Quebec’s crown
attorney is expected to determine the amount of the fine in the coming weeks.
According to Carrier, the restaurant had 30 customers seated in a section meant for 14 people due to COVID-19 health and safety rules. The SPS added that bars and restaurants have had six months to adjust to the new reality; the rules are clear and up-to-date.
Caffucino owner Michel Lussier said he was unaware of any official fines coming his way, but admitted his restaurant was overcapacity. The establishment is only allowed to seat 96 customers at the same time, according to Quebec’s half capacity rule.
Lussier was at the restaurant on Monday guiding customers to the registration form, which is noticeable immediately upon entering the building. Patrons need to scan a code using their phone and write down their name on a sheet of paper before being seated.
“We didn’t know we needed to keep a register, we thought it was only bars,” Lussier explained. And the Caffucino staff is going to be much more aware of seating arrangements, he added.
Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault announced the government’s province-wide operation resulted in about 1,500 warnings and more than 90 tickets. The purpose of Operation OSCAR was to nab establishments skirting COVID-19 health and safety rules.
Guilbault called the operation a success. She was pleased with the amount of owners and patrons respecting physical distancing rules in bars and restaurants. Police forces across the province visited Quebec carried out 2,206 visits to different establishments.

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