François Legault institutes a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., a “shock treatment” to force Quebecers to isolate themselves at home in order to break the second wave of the epidemic. Recalcitrant will be subject to a fine.
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As of Saturday and until February 8, he will be prohibited from moving outside his place of residence during the curfew in Quebec, the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday. However, the territories of Nunavik and Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James will not be affected by the new directive.
Only travel for health care, humanitarian reasons or when an essential worker comes to work will be allowed.
The police will be on the lookout and will be able to intercept citizens who venture outside their homes from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., warned François Legault, flanked by his two accomplices, Dr. Horacio Arruda and Minister Christian Dubé.
“The situation is really critical, serious,” he insisted.
Fines await those who fail to comply with the new rules. Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault is due to clarify the extent of the sanctions on Friday.
Grocery stores will have to close at 7:30 p.m. to give employees time to get home and customers to finalize their shopping before the curfew falls. Pharmacies will remain open
And the reconfinement of Quebec does not stop there. The closure of non-essential businesses will continue for four weeks. The government, however, has been sensitive to the arguments of retailers and will allow collection at the door, without entering the shops.
After reflection, the government opts not to postpone the return to school of primary school students, who will be able to meet their classmates again from next Monday. Small schoolchildren will, however, have to follow more stringent health measures, such as wearing a mask in class for children in fifth and sixth grade.
High school teens will have to continue to take their distance education next week, but will be back in school on January 18. When they return to high school, they will be required to wear procedural masks in class.
“For me, school is the priority,” said the Prime Minister.
François Legault invites parents who can to keep their young children at home, but daycare centers will still remain open for all during this second confinement.
Confined and isolated at home during the curfew, Quebeckers will still be able to indulge in outdoor sports, which will now be limited to the family bubble. Cross-country skiing and downhill skiing will be possible, but only during the day.