Christmas weekend gathering at Ottawa restaurant leads to 19 charges

OTTAWA — Ottawa bylaw officers issued 19 charges for a private gathering at an Ottawa restaurant over the Christmas weekend.

Between Christmas Eve and Monday, Dec. 28, Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services issued two verbal warnings and laid 21 charges related to provincial orders about social gatherings and other activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nineteen charges for a private gathering at a restaurant on Carling Avenue in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act,” Bylaw Director Roger Chapman said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

He did not provide the name of the restaurant or the date of the gathering.

Ottawa and southern Ontario moved into a 28-day lockdown on Dec. 26, closing all non-essential businesses. Restaurants and bars are allowed to open for takeout and delivery only.

On Dec. 24 and 25, Ottawa was still in the “orange-restrict” zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions, with limits on the number of people allowed to sit at tables in bars and restaurants and capacity limits.

Between Dec. 24 and 28, Chapman says Ottawa Bylaw issued a charge for a residential social gathering in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act. There was also a charge issued to a retail business open in contravention of the Ontario COVID-19 rules.

“Between Dec. 24 and 28, Bylaw and Regulatory Services issued two verbal warnings, both in relation to residential social gatherings over the legal limit under the Reopening Ontario Act,” Chapman said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“Participants were cooperative and dispersed immediately upon request.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, no indoor organized events or social gatherings are allowed, except for members of the same household. The limit for outdoor social gatherings is 10 people, as long as physical distancing measures are followed.

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