Men fined for not following coronavirus rules at restaurant

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PORT MOODY, B.C. - Three men in Port Moody, B.C., have been fined for not following restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 at a restaurant.

A statement from Port Moody police says officers were called to a local restaurant Saturday night after complaints from staff about their "erratic and belligerent behaviour."

A spokesman for the department says officers determined the men were impaired and were also told the three were ignoring restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Police say staff complained that the group was refusing to sit down, yelling, entering an area restricted to staff, vomiting on their table and spitting on it when asked to leave.

Officers issued the men multiple tickets totalling nearly $700 under measures designed to ensure compliance with COVID-19 rules.

The statement says the first priority of officers is to educate the public about safety during the pandemic but in the case on Saturday the actions of the men left no choice but to issue fines.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced fines for COVID-19 infractions in August, ranging up to $2,000 for owners, organizers, venues or promoters hosting large gatherings.

Fines of up to $200 can also be imposed on anyone violating safety plans for abusing or bullying workers trying to implement those plans.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020