Montreal and Laval returned to an 8 p.m curfew starting Sunday April 11, as a COVID preventative measure, until further notice, Premier François Legault announced last Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday, it was reported that there were more than 1,600 new cases in Quebec in general. Since, there have been some 1,500 new cases a day.
“We’re now in a third wave,” Legault said, providing context for his announcement. “I understand Quebecers who say a lot of changes are taking place. We are in the same situation as everywhere else in the world. We have to find a balance between physical and mental health. Also, Public Health provides recommendations, but at the end of the day, I’m the one who makes the decisions. You can’t please everyone — as Bernard Landry said, if you want to be loved, don’t go into politics. Buy a dog.”
Thousands of people reacted by holding a large protest in Old Montreal against the curfew Sunday night, calling for “freedom for the young.” The protest turned violent, with fires set and the windows of some businesses smashed. According to media reports, at least 108 tickets were handed out and at least seven people were arrested.
At last week’s press conference, the Premier also announced that the increase of cases in Quebec City, Lévis, Gatineau and Chaudière-Appalaches are such that the current restrictions, including the 8 p.m. curfew and the closure of non-essential businesses, will continue until April 18.
In densely populated Montreal and Laval, “the level of contagion is high, and we expect it to accelerate even more.
“That’s why we are taking a preventative measure, placing the curfew back to 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. If the situation explodes, it could lead to big problems and could be very concerning for hospitals.”
The Premier also said the Eastern Townships is under surveillance because of increases in that area as well.
Legault also praised the vaccination progress, adding that he was happy to see a waiting list for the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which was offered to those 55 and over in walk-in clinics starting April 8.
“The vaccines are our passport to freedom. The next few weeks are critical. What we’ve seen happening in many places, including Quebec City, can happen everywhere. We’re not safe from an explosion of cases, there is a danger. The variant is more contagious, more vicious. We’ve gone a good part of the way. We have to show solidarity.”