Saturday, 23 January, 2021


Quebec premier orders Canada's first pandemic curfew

The province has registered at least 2,800 COVID-19 cases in a single day three times since last Wednesday The province has registered at least 2,800 COVID-19 cases in a single day three times since last Wednesday
Kristine Garrett | 09 January, 2021, 10:15

This curfew will be in place for four weeks.

The majority of people in hospital with COVID-19 are over 65 years old and are unlikely working in the manufacturing sector, Legault said, in an attempt to explain his decision.

The premier said that despite the fact schools, retail stores and many other businesses have been closed since December, COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

The executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association says he fears the measure could lead to overzealous ticketing and arbitrary police stops that have been shown in the past to excessively impact people who are Black, Indigenous, homeless or poor.

Earlier on Wednesday, Quebec reported 2,641 new COVID-19 infections and 47 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. There are now 1,393 people with COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals, including 202 in intensive care.

But the premier said that municipal libraries, which have been lending books at the doorway, will now be allowed to admit students who want to study, respecting distancing, masks and hand-washing requirements.

"There's no science that can tell you what measure will have what percentage effect", he told reporters.

Much of Quebec, including the province's largest cities, has been under partial lockdown since October, when bars, restaurant dining rooms, gyms and entertainment venues were closed.

He said the majority of outbreaks documented by public health have been in workplaces and schools and said while some cases may be due to people breaking the rules, he doesn't think enough people are having illicit parties that would result in more than 2,500 cases a day.

"We're talking about saving people's lives", Legault said.

Individual outdoor activities are still permitted before curfew, Legault said, like walking or cross-country skiing.

Several Quebecers are questioning how the provincial government will manage to enforce the rules surrounding its newly imposed curfew.

Ford said he wants to see where COVID-19 cases go in the next little while before implementing something similar for Ontario.

Critics say the Legault government could have done more, sooner to avoid getting to this point. Health officials said they administered 9,960 doses of vaccine Wednesday, for a total of 48,632.

Amid a new high of 3,519 cases and 89 deaths reported Thursday, Dr. David Williams also extended a regional shutdown in northern Ontario for another two weeks to align with a lockdown in the south, however northern elementary and secondary students can return to class Monday.

Proulx said that if Quebec were the only jurisdiction in North America to order factories to close, it would put the province's manufacturing industry - which employs 450,000 people and accounts for 14 per cent of the provincial GDP - at a severe disadvantage.

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