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COVID-19 shutdown: Halifax police called over mannequin sighting inside restaurant

Halifax Regional Police responded to a call about someone violating public health rules at a local restaurant, but it turned out to be a mannequin.
Halifax Regional Police responded to a call about someone violating public health rules at a local restaurant, but it turned out to be a mannequin. Ardmore Tea Room/Instagram

A Halifax eatery got an unusual visit from police after someone mistook a mannequin for a customer.

During COVID-19, the Ardmore Tea Room on Quinpool Road has been placing mannequins at some tables to keep them blocked off and encourage physical distancing.

Now that restaurants have been ordered to shut down to in-person dining during the third wave of the pandemic, the humanoid figures are the only ones sitting in the dining room.

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Mike Cormier, the owner of the Ardmore Tea Room, said he was working alone Thursday morning when he saw a police car pull up outside the restaurant.

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“The officer got out and was looking in the window, and I saw her looking at the mannequin, so I went out and said … ‘Someone didn’t call the police, I hope, on the mannequin,’” said Cormier.

It turned out someone had, but the officer quickly realized the mannequin wasn’t a threat and went on her way.

Cormier snapped a picture of the scene and put it on the restaurant’s Instagram, with the plea: “Please don’t call the police on us. We are only open for takeout and delivery. No eat in, she’s a mannequin to help with social distancing.”

In a statement, Halifax Regional Police spokesperson John MacLeod confirmed police got a call at around 10 a.m. about “individuals not following public health directives.”

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“Officers attended and found there were no issues or violations at that time,” the statement said.

Cormier said he understands that people want to do the right thing to keep people safe, but he asked that people not be so quick to dial 911.

“It could have been a staff member sitting at the table,” he said. “So before you call the police and waste their resources, be sure of what you’re doing.”

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