Premier François Legault announced that while the COVID situation in Montreal remains stable, preventative measures were still necessary as increases could still come in days or weeks especially in light of the situation in Ontario, particularly Toronto.
“April is a critical month,” he warned. “We don’t want to wait to see increases to act. The risk is more significant this week than last week. The situation is fragile.But the ERs and ICUs are stable in Montreal.”
As a result, the Premier announced that in red zones like Montreal, as of Monday, students in Secondary III, IV and V will go to school on alternate days and extra-curricular activities will be cancelled. As of Thursday, gyms will be closed and places of worship will be limited to 25 people, down from the recent 250.
Legault added that the government considered bringing the curfew in Montreal back to 8 p.m. from 9:30 p.m., and he did not rule out a return to 8 p.m. if there is an increase in cases.
“There are many workers working later and people want to walk when it’s still light. The situation is still under control, but we’re keeping an eye on this from one hour to the next.”
Legault also warned that businesses which break the rules can be closed on the authority of provincial public health officials, especially in light of a single Quebec City gym in which COVID spread to upwards of 200 people.
Health Minister Christian Dubé announced that, starting Thursday, Quebecers 55 and over will be able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine at designated sites. The province had suspended its use for that age group because of possible blood clotting issues in Europe.
“All vaccinations are safe and efficient, the benefits outweigh the risks.”
Dubé also said the next priority group will be essential workers at high risk, and those with chronic illnesses.