Quebec becomes the first province in Canada to implement a curfew, starts on Saturday

Elisabetta Bianchini

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Quebec will be the first province to implement a curfew as COVID-19 cases continue to climb, set to begin on Saturday.

Quebecers must remain in their homes by 8:00 p.m. each day, until 5:00 a.m., or they could face fines of up to $6,000. This curfew will be in place for four weeks.

Grocery stores and depanneurs must close at 7:30 p.m. but pharmacies and gas stations can remain open overnight.

The provincial government also announced additional restrictions in an effort to limit close contacts during the day.

Non-essential businesses, including places of worship, must remain closed until Feb. 8. Funerals can occur but with a maximum of 10 people.

Primary schools will reopen as planned on Jan. 11 but all children will have to wear masks when they are outside the classroom. Children in Grade 5 and 6 must wear a mask in the classroom.

High school student will not go back to in-person learning until Jan. 18. Quebec Premier François Legault said all teachers and students in high school will have to wear a “procedural mask” and two masks will be distributed to each person per day, in every school.

Libraries will be open for anyone in the province who wants to study there.

“I know those measures are tough for our mental health but we have to balance that with the situation in our hospitals,” Legault said. “The situation is very serious, the virus is especially dangerous for people over the age of 65.”

Quebec reported 2,641 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. There are currently 1,393 people with COVID-19 in Quebec hospitals, including 202 in intensive care. The province also confirmed 47 COVID-19 deaths, with 13 that occurred in the last 24 hours.

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