The ghosts of the old Forum will have to move aside as the Bell Centre is set to reopen at 50% capacity in the coming weeks.
According to Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s Tuesday press conference, large sports arenas, such as the Bell Centre, will be able to operate at half capacity as of February 21.
On annonce, aujourd’hui, les nouvelles mesures qui entreront en vigueur dans les prochains jours et prochaines semaines.
🎥Pour tous les détails, suivez notre point de presse en direct👉 https://t.co/M5OWXXgArE
— François Legault (@francoislegault) February 8, 2022
The announcement is part of the provincial government’s COVID-19 reopening plan, which features the easing of restrictions in all facets of life. The plan’s outline features the loosening of gathering limitations, resuming of amateur sports, and the reopening of bars and venues.
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While most other businesses in Quebec will be operating at full capacity on February 21, large arenas are set to follow on March 14. As of then, Montreal Canadiens games will be able to host 10,651 fans (half of 21,302).
Legault says as of March 14, “most of the health measures will be lifted.” When asked to clarify, Health Minister Christian Dubé said the government will “adjust its strategy” regarding the province’s mask mandates and COVID-19 passport system.
While the majority of American teams in the NHL continue to play to large crowds the Canadiens (8-29-7) are presently only allowed to host a maximum of 500 fans in their arena.
The Habs will take on the Arizona Coyotes at the Bell Centre on March 15. It will be the team’s first full-attendance home game of the year.