New steps, according to the Premier, are required to defend the healthcare system. To combat the spread of the extremely infectious Omicron strain, Quebec is enforcing a curfew once again, along with closing restaurant dining rooms, postponing the reopening of schools, and closing non-essential enterprises on Sundays.
Indoor get-togethers with more than one household bubble will be restricted as well. Premier François Legault, along with Health Minister Christian Dubé and Public Health Director Horacio Arruda, announced the news during a press conference this evening.
The new limits will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday. “We’re currently in the midst of the pandemic’s worst phase,” Legault added. “As a result of fast tests, cases are under-evaluated, and we risk exceeding hospital capacity in the next weeks.”
People who are out of their houses between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a legal reason face a punishment of $1,000 to $6,000, according to Legault. He didn’t say when the curfew would cease but said it would be the first restriction lifted if the situation is improving.
On Thursday, Quebec recorded 14,188 new COVID-19 cases, the greatest number of confirmed daily cases since the pandemic began. All schools will be closed until January 17th, but virtual learning will be available where feasible. Daycare services at schools will continue to operate, with a focus on children of healthcare employees.
Except for some businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, most shops will be closed on Sundays. Indoor sports are prohibited unless they are performed by a single person, two individuals, or residents of the same residence.
Indoor facilities at ski resorts will only be open to allow skiers to warm up and use the restroom. Food will not be served inside, but takeout will be available. Except for funerals of up to 25 persons, places of worship must also close.
Source: CBC News