Quebec Prime Minister François Legault says the number of daily COVID-19 cases in Quebec appears to have risen, prompting him to set a curfew on Monday to protect hospitals from spreading the disease.
Health experts say COVID-19-related hospitals, which had 2,994 cases on Thursday, are set to rise in the coming days, Legault told reporters in Montreal.
Legault set to begin at 10 pm to 5 a.m. on December 31 – just in time for the New Year’s Eve. He enacted a curfew in early 2021 for about five months, between January and May. Quebec is the only province that prevents its citizens from leaving their homes at night as a way to counter the spread of COVID-19.
“We saw in late December that the prevalence of new diseases was very rapid,” Legault said. “So, although it was not known, we decided to set up strong strategies.
“These days, we see a growing number of cases and hospitals are declining, which is why we have eliminated some of the practices.”
But he also added new ones, aimed specifically at the uncircumcised, to whom Legault threatened to impose an unspecified tax and fines. The Prime Minister said legislation to regulate the tax would be enacted in February.
Starting January 24, Quebecers will be required to show vaccination evidence to enter large box stores with an area of 1,500 square meters or more, excluding pharmacies or retail stores. Last week, Legault announced that the vaccine passport would also be valid at the marijuana and beverage retailer since January 18th.
Health Minister Christian Dube said the law would be based on the growth of retailers.
“Therefore, the best example is Costco should apply for a vaccine passport; Walmart will need a vaccine passport,” Dube said.
Dr. Luc Boileau, head of the health ministry in Quebec, said the protests from healthcare organizations in the region – that day-to-day cases are at an all-time high and hospitals will soon follow – are “uncertain, so we have to wait and see.”
#Quebec to upgrade COVID-19 #curfew Monday, expanding #VaccinePassport to major box markets. # Covid19 #Polqc
But the growing number of hospitals – especially in major hospitals – seems to be declining, he said.
Quebec also said another 45 people had died from the coronavirus publication on Thursday and an increase in 117 COVID-19-related hospitals. The Ministry of Health says 2,994 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 272 people in major hospitals, an increase of nine since yesterday.
The announcement of the end of the curfew came on the same day a survey by Mainstreet Research showed support for Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec was down – but the party was up 38 percent ahead.
The Québec solidaire, a left-wing party that has criticized curfews, and the Quebec Conservative Party, which opposes a number of state laws, have all received profits, with 19 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
Legault, however, said the vote was cast after he decided to cancel the curfew, adding that his health rules were not political.
“I did not come to win the competition,” he said. “I have come to try to protect the Quebecers and to develop better practices based on science and public health.”
Household meetings throughout the state have been banned, and dining rooms, gymnasiums, spas, and entertainment venues have been shut down.
François Vincent, vice president of Quebec of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said their agency had told the government that applying for a vaccine in small shops was difficult for business owners. And while a passport will only be needed in supermarkets, it still brings extra money – phones are needed to validate passports and some businesses may need to hire more staff or security guards to complete the order.
“It will be a burden on all businesses that need to use it,” Vincent said, adding that employees or store owners have to deal with angry customers.
Quebec is also moving ahead with plans to reopen schools for private study on Monday. The Prime Minister said small colleges and universities could also be reopened but have been given the opportunity to adapt to custom classes.
Boileau said he did not believe schools were contributing to the spread of the virus in the region. The reopening of schools is likely to be successful, he said, because children – who will have to wear masks in class – will not be more susceptible to COVID-19 than adults.
Health officials also unveiled 8,793 new COVID-19s on Thursday and said about 16 percent of the tests tested had returned. On January 7 separately, the daily cases were about 16,000 and the test count was 25 percent.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published January 13, 2022.
The article was created with the financial support of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.
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