The Legault government will attempt to slow down the virus’s growing spread with a two-week shutdown of non-essential businesses, starting on Christmas Day, according to Radio-Canada.
They will be shut down between Dec. 25, and Jan. 11, doing away with in-person Boxing Day shopping.
Though it’s not yet clear what businesses will qualify as non-essential this time around, grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and a handful of other establishments are expected to remain open.
It also remains to be seen if the closures will only apply to Quebec’s red zones.
What is clear, however, is the province’s plan to offer a compromise for people living in red zones: up to eight people will be allowed to gather in outdoor public spaces for physical activities. Outdoor gatherings on private property, no matter how small, will remain banned.
Premier François Legault is expected to provide details at 5 p.m. You can watch the premier’s announcement here or on CBC Montreal’s Facebook page.
According to Radio-Canada sources, the government is looking to determine whether online learning will be possible for elementary students between Jan. 4 and Jan. 11, as part of the effort to contain the virus.
The province has reported single-day case totals surpassing 1,600 in each of the last six days, with more than 950 people in hospital due to the virus, pushing the health-care system’s capacity to its limit in several regions.
Much of the province has been designated as a red zone, the highest alert level, with restaurant dining rooms gyms, museums and theatres shutting down as a result.
The Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions have had red-zone restrictions in place since Oct. 1.