As we reported Friday, Premier Legault confirmed today at his daily briefing the closure of schools, Cegeos, universities and daycares until May 1st. The Education Ministry has also announced there will be no Ministerial exams this semester. As a further measure to discourage gatherings, all shopping malls and restaurant dining rooms will be closed as of midnight tonight.
Grocery stores, pharmacies and SAQ outlets will remain open, but hair salons and spas are also asked to close. Take out and drive-thrus can remain open.
Legault said he did not want to close the SAQs down over fear of causing a panic. "We believe there would be more inconveniences to closing the SAQs down.”
Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said teachers will send homework to parents and the government will set up online educational resources for children. He added that they will find a way to make sure closures don't affect graduations.
On the question of increased police powers, Legault said that police can ban public gatherings and force people into isolation who have tested positive for COVID-19 when asked, but said the actions are rare.
“I really don’t wish that we get there except in exceptional cases,” said Legault. "Right now we count on the good faith of the population."
The Premier finished by reiterating that current measures have had a good effect, and will continue to improve. Quebec has had four deaths and all have been from the same seniors home.