Bar terrasses reopen in Montreal with restrictions that may be tough to enforce during playoff hockey
MONTREAL -- Montrealers still can't get a drink in a bar in the city, but the terrasses are open and hopping just in time to welcome those donning bleu-blanc et rouge to watch the unexpected Montreal Canadiens' playoff run.
Today is the first time in just over eight months that bar owners have been allowed to serve drinks on their outdoor areas, as restaurants did two weeks ago.
The rules are the same for both types of establishments. A maximum of two people from different addresses are allowed to sit together or members of one household can sit together.
Bars are required to take names and numbers of patrons down for contact tracing purposes, and there must be two metres between tables.
Dancing and singing are prohibited, and establishments must close at midnight with alcohol sales stopping at 11 p.m.
On Monday, Montreal and Laval will move to the yellow zone and bars will be permitted to reopen their indoor areas at a 50 per cent reduced capacity.
"It's huge," said Ziggy's Bar owner Ziggy Eichenbaum. "It's like a new baby's being born. It's starting again from scratch. A lot of my regulars are calling and we're going to do a regular party with distancing and all that just to get the kinks out."
Eichenbaum is concerned about closing at midnight with the Habs game Monday against the Golden Knights starting at 9 p.m.
He's hoping the health authorities will be forgiving should the game go past 12 a.m.