How bars are keeping hockey fans safe as Canadiens resume play

MONTREAL — After an almost five month hiatus, the Montreal Canadiens are back in action and that means bar owners are preparing for the return of fans even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Shortly before the Habs’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the first match of a play-in series to see who will advance to the playoffs, staff at Peel St.’s McLean’s Pub were working to ensure hockey fans could enjoy the game safely. Tables were spread out to ensure proper physical distancing and hand sanitizer was prepared. Bartender Kenny McIntyre admitted the atmosphere will be different from the usual, and not just because it’s hockey in August.

“I think we’ll remember this one for the rest of our lives. Masking up and having to stay six feet away from your best friends when you’re cheering on your favourite hockey team… it’s a very bizarre world, there’s a lot of unknowns,” he said. “But there’s one certain, absolute fact and that’s Montrealers love their hockey.”

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