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While Quebec has entered the “second wave” of the coronavirus pandemic, bars, restaurants, cinemas, museums and libraries will be closed from October 1 to 28 in three regions of this French-speaking province of Canada.
The Premier of Quebec announced Monday, September 28 new restrictions for the regions of Montreal and Quebec which go to the highest level of alert for 28 days, while the cases of coronavirus have climbed sharply in this province.
Quebecers are called upon not to receive guests at their homes. Bars, restaurants, cinemas, museums and libraries in particular will be closed from October 1 to 28 in three regions, including the metropolis Montreal and the capital Quebec, which have passed the red alert threshold. Schools and businesses, hairdressing salons and hotels will however remain open.
“The figures are clear: we must take our responsibilities, we must make difficult decisions,” warned Prime Minister François Legault at a press conference, announcing, “with a heavy heart”, the closure of several sectors of the economy during the month of October. The government is working on “a formula to help financially” the owners of these businesses, he promised.
Quebec, which has more than eight million inhabitants, announced Monday 750 new cases in one day. The province hardest hit by the epidemic, especially in its retirement homes during the first wave, has entered “into the second wave”, warned last week, the national director of public health.
The number of new patients, around a hundred at the end of August, has continued to climb since then to approach a thousand last weekend, but the number of deaths remained stable (between zero and six per day).
“What we are seeing for the moment is a significant increase in cases and we can think that in several weeks, that will mean significant increases in hospitalizations and deaths”, explained François Legault, adding that the situation was “critical”.
Quebec “strongly recommends” to avoid travel between regions. Neighboring province and second most affected by the pandemic, Ontario has recorded more than 700 new cases, a record since the start of the pandemic which has led authorities to also speak of “second wave”. In total, Canada reported on Monday more than 155,000 cases and 9,318 deaths.