January 18th, 2021

Curfew now in effect across Quebec; heavy police presence expected


By The Canadian Press on January 9, 2021.

People wear face masks as they walk in the Old Port in Montreal, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. Quebecers out in the street after 8 p.m. tonight can expect to be questioned by police as a month-long curfew comes into effect to control the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL – A curfew meant to stem the spread of COVID-19 has now taken effect across Quebec.

Premier Francois Legault says the 8 p.m. curfew is needed to prevent gatherings that have fueled the rampant spread of the virus.

The rules will see most residents face police questions or stiff fines if they’re out between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

There are exceptions for essential workers, people walking dogs, and those who have medical reasons to be out, such as a doctor’s appointment.

Under the rules, grocery stores and convenience stores will have to close at 7:30 p.m. in order to allow workers and customers to get home. Stores connected to gas stations can stay open to serve essential workers.

The curfew comes as Quebec’s COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise and hospitals say they’re filling up and risk becoming overwhelmed.

The trend continued today as the province reported 3,127 new cases of the virus and 41 new associated deaths. It was the first time the province’s daily case count passed the 3,000 mark.

The province said 12 of the most recent deaths occurred within the past 24 hours, 24 took place between Jan. 2 and 7 and five prior to Jan. 2.

The province has also shut down places of worship for all but small funerals, tightened mask-wearing rules for schools, and has extended the closure of non-essential businesses until at least Feb. 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2021.

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