Two Saskatoon bars slapped with $14,000 fines for violating COVID-19 public health orders
SASKATOON -- Crackers Restaurant Lounge and Karaoke Bar in Saskatoon has been fined $14,000 after being the site of a potential super-spreader COVID-19 event linked to dozens of cases.
“There have been a small number of mainly bars and restaurants who may not have been following (Public Health Orders), putting their staff, putting their customers and essentially putting their communities at risk,” Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said during a news conference held in Regina on Tuesday.
“So I have asked that we increase enforcement on those who choose to break the rules.”
As of Jan. 21, 87 cases were linked to Crackers, located on Pinehouse Drive.
During the news conference, the province's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said COVID-19 transmission in bars can have a far-reaching impact.
"We've had bars from which outbreaks have spilled into daycare schools, other workplaces and gone goes on and on leads to you know, hundreds of cases," Shahab said.
Another bar in the city, The Crazy Cactus, was also issued a ticket.
The downtown bar, located on Third Avenue South, must also pay a $14,000 fine.
A third bar, Stats Cocktails and Dreams in Regina was also hit with a similar penalty.
Moe noted that other investigations are also ongoing, which may result in further fines.
Shahab said "half the people are doing everything right" by maintaining their distance, staying at their tables and wearing masks.
"But when a few people are not doing that, and they lurching from table to table, even the people who are doing everything right, get exposed," Shahab said.
"You know, they infect other tables, each other staff and becomes a large outbreak and then that snowballs.
In a news release, the province said public health inspectors will be supported in efforts to issue tickets quickly to businesses breaking public health orders to ensure compliance.