Quebec lockdown

Quebec announces closure of non-essential businesses for the holidays

Only grocery and hardware stores, pharmacies and daycares will remain open for an 18-day period.

As hinted in a press conference last Friday and a series of media interviews in recent days, Quebec Premier François Legault has announced new pandemic restrictions for the holidays. All offices of non-essential businesses as well as all elementary and high schools will close from Dec. 17 to Jan. 11. Daycares will remain open as usual but Legault is asking all parents who can keep their kids at home to do so during the same period.

In addition, all retail stores (as well as beauty and hair salons, barbershops and spas) must remain closed from Dec. 25 to Jan. 11, and big box stores will not be able to sell non-essential items as they currently do in Ontario. Only grocery and hardware stores, pharmacies and (aside from statutory holidays) daycares will remain open during this 18-day period.

Legault also said that anyone living alone can join one household over the holidays, forming a family-plus-one bubble.

These new restrictions come in light of continued high numbers of new daily infections as well as new hospitalizations, which is putting a major strain on the health care network in many regions. This new round of closures will force Quebecers to reduce contacts over the holidays, hopefully curbing the spread of COVID-19 during what’s been a nasty second wave.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccinations in CHSLDs in Montreal and Quebec City, which began yesterday, continued today. ■

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