- David Boudeweel-Lefebvre
Highlights - COVID-19 situation in Québec
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
On Thursday, December 30, 2021, Quebec government authorities provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
With New Year's Day just days away, the significant upward trend in new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19 is rapidly accelerating. Authorities are concerned that hospitals will be overwhelmed with patients and the offloading of services is already well underway.
As a result, Quebec is now reporting 14,188 new cases, a record since the beginning of the pandemic in Quebec. However, this figure is an inadequate representation of reality, given the scarcity of testing and the fact that more and more people are testing themselves.
The increase in hospitalizations (to over 900) and deaths also continues. The number of daily cases is expected to continue to rise as the new variant reproduces very quickly.
The Montreal region is particularly affected, but all regions of Quebec are seeing significant increases in cases.
In this context, the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, the Minister of Health Christian Dubé, and the National Director of Public Health of Quebec, Dr. Horacio Arruda, have proceeded to put in place additional severe sanitary measures. They also urged Quebecers to minimize their contact with others.
Main measures announced:
- Starting December 31, curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Possible fines of $1000 to $6000. Employees going to or returning from work must have a note from their employer/supervisor to travel. Businesses must close 30 minutes before curfew each night to allow for closing;
- As of December 31, 5:00 p.m., restaurant dining rooms (including mall food courts) are closed. Delivery, take-out, and drive-thru are still permitted as essential services, including during curfew hours.
- As of December 31, 5:00 p.m., the limit for private indoor gatherings is lowered to one family bubble plus one person;
- Shops and stores also remain open, except on Sundays for non-essential businesses for a period of three weeks, with the restrictions already in place. This also applies to shopping malls and their food fairs (same restrictions as for conventional restaurants;
- Essential businesses and activities (except some on Sundays) may continue under the restrictions already in place. This is valid for all manufacturing, construction, automotive, mining, and other industries. COVID-19 positive essential workers will be able to continue working, under certain conditions;
- The return to school is delayed until at least January 17, 2022, for elementary schools, high schools, the college sector, and universities;
- Daycare centers remain open for children of essential workers;
- Indoor sports are suspended;
- Work from home for workers when possible remains mandatory;
- Closure of places of worship, except for 25 people for funeral purposes;
- No previously closed areas are reopened;
- There are no deadlines for the measures.
The government is also keeping open the possibility of adding new health measures in the next few days as the situation evolves. There may be a further press conference mid-next week or earlier if required.
We will continue to monitor the situation for you and inform you of any changes as soon as possible.