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Oka Beach Reduced Its Capacity By 85% Today After Evacuating Masses Of Rule Breakers

A spokesperson said staff experienced "rudeness and verbal abuse."
Oka Beach Reduced Its Capacity By 85% Today After Evacuating Masses Of Rule Breakers

Oka National Park in Quebec announced on Facebook that it would be limiting its maximum capacity to 750 people today after evacuating masses of beach-goers on May 19.

Simon Boivin, media relations manager for the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ), told Narcity Québec that while the official opening of the beach was scheduled for May 22, the park was able to provide supervision and open earlier.

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However, at approximately 3 p.m. on May 19, the park decided to enforce its beach closure protocol because many visitors failed to heed the warnings of beach staff.

"Not only during the closure, but also during the warnings, there was a lot of unacceptable rudeness and verbal abuse towards our employees from visitors who were not respectful of the rules," said Boivin.

Employees formed a squad and swept the beach with megaphones to ask visitors to leave the premises, and Sûreté du Québec police were also called in, he told Narcity.

According to Boivin, prior to the pandemic, the beach could accommodate up to 5,000 people — but with new occupancy limits in place, it can now accommodate 2,500 people. 

The capacity was reportedly further reduced by management to 1,500.

Boivin said that Oka National Park doesn't want to be "the scene of an outbreak that could come and ruin the efforts of so many people over the last few months."

No updates for Victoria Day long weekend

For Victoria Day long weekend, from May 21 to 24, Boivin said the situation would be analyzed "day by day."

"It's not so much the space to respect the distance that is missing, it's the will to respect it. So, we will adjust to the collaboration of people. "

This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.