Businesses, salons, and museums are slated to open everywhere across Quebec as of next week.
In a press conference on Tuesday evening, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that the province will be “gradually” reopening parts of the province as hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases begin to decline.
Also effective as of February 8, university and CEGEP students will begin a “gradual” return to physical classes.
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Shopping centres are allowed to reopen with new occupancy rules and physical distancing measures enforced.
On a réussi avec les mesures de confinement à limiter la propagation de la COVID-19, mais la bataille n’est finie. Aujourd’hui, on vous annonce les nouvelles mesures qui entreront en vigueur le 8 février prochain. Suivez notre point de presse en direct: https://t.co/s1XBDGj1Hl
— François Legault (@francoislegault) February 2, 2021
Legault said the situation has been “improving” over the past few weeks, which he said is “very encouraging.”
The premier says public health sees a decrease in cases and hospitalizations “almost on a daily basis” and thanked Quebecers for their efforts.
“Today we are arriving at the conclusion that yes, we can do a small or slight loosening of the lockdown,” he said.
“We have to do it gradually to give ourselves the opportunity to win this war.”
Legault says that effective February 8, six regions across Quebec will downgrade to the orange zone, allowing for more restrictions to be eased.
The six regions are Gaspésie, Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and Côte-Nord.
Orange zone regions will allow gyms, restaurants, and indoor sports to reopen and the curfew will be pushed back to 9:30 pm.
The remaining 11 regions of Quebec will remain in the red zone. Meaning, the ban on visiting other people’s homes will remain, likewise will the closure of theatres, bars, restaurants, and gyms.
Montreal, the epicentre of Quebec’s COVID-19 cases, will remain the red zone.
It is still mandatory for everyone in red zone regions to work from home and the curfew will remain at 8 pm, nightly.
Across Quebec, people will be able to interact with four people from four different addresses for outdoor activities.
Quebec’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, says “a lot goes in to reducing red zones to orange,” mentioning active COVID-19 cases, hospital availability, and population size.
Legault said Quebecers need to remain diligent in their efforts against COVID-19 and says that even though some restrictions are loosening, the “battle is far from over.”