The curfew in Quebec’s red zones will be pushed back from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. starting tomorrow and three rural regions will be upgraded from orange to yellow zones, allowing people there more freedoms.
Premier François Legault announced the change on Tuesday, saying the situation is improving in Quebec despite the threat of variants and a possible third wave.
He said people have been requesting the curfew be pushed back as days are getting longer. However, the premier warned, people cannot hold private gatherings with friends and family.
“We can take an evening walk but indoor gatherings are still forbidden,” Legault said.
Legault announced the loosening of several measures, including allowing theatres and show venues to reopen on March 26.
These changes come as officials see the epidemiological situation continue to improve across the province.
He said officials were worried cases would spike after March break, but while there has been an increase, it was “nothing dramatic.”
The premier said the vaccination campaign is getting into full swing and officials expect everyone over the age of 65 to be vaccinated by mid-April.
And everybody who wants a vaccine will be able to get it by June 24, he said, but that does not mean that public health restrictions can be immediately lifted.
“We have to stay very careful for a few more weeks,” Legault said.
Health Minister Christian Dubé said more than 34,000 people were vaccinated on March 12 and some 1,500 pharmacies across Quebec will soon be offering the vaccine as well.
As long as people continue to follow the guidelines, get tested and co-operate with contact tracing efforts, the health minister said the situation should not spiral out of control.
Regions that will be upgraded from orange to yellow zones include Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Côte-Nord and Nord-du-Québec. The curfew is lifted in yellow zones.
Legault said high school students in orange zones will be able to return to in-person schooling full time rather than alternating days. That change will begin on March 22, allowing Secondary 3, 4, and 5 students to go to school every day of the week.
www.cbc.ca 2021-03-16 21:20:52