MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault presented his government’s COVID-19 re-opening plan last Tuesday, which begins with lifting the curfew on May 28 and ends with the possible removal of the mask mandate in late August, according to Canadian Press. The announcement included the news that restaurants will be allowed to re-open for indoor dining by May 31.
“Today we see that there is hope,” Legault said at the announcement in Quebec City. “We can start to see each other again.”
After imposing various levels of strict lockdown measures across the province since Oct. 1, Legault presented what he called a “prudent” plan divided into three general steps.
- By May 31, the “vast majority” of Quebec will be moved to the orange pandemic-alert level, he said, under which high-school students are in school full time. Restaurants can re-open for indoor dining — although only for a maximum of two adults from different households at each table. Gyms can also re-open.
- By June 14, most regions will be at the yellow level, Legault said, under which people from two different households can gather indoors and bars can reopen.
- And by June 25, the premier said most regions will be at the green level, where “small parties” can take place indoors with up to 10 people from three separate households. The green level also permits the resumption of indoor team sports.
It wasn’t clear, however, whether Montreal would be included in the regions moving to the orange level at the end of the month.
Legault’s plan came the day he reported that 75 per cent of Quebec adults had received at least one dose of vaccine or had an appointment to get one.
Legault said five major restrictions will be eased across the province May 28. The curfew, which has been in place in much of Quebec since Jan. 8, will be lifted; restaurant patios can re-open; up to eight people can gather outside in backyards; inter-regional travel can resume; and indoor venues can start welcoming up to 2,500 people at once.
Legault’s plan ends in August with the possible lifting of the mask mandate in most situations — if 75 per cent of people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated with two doses.
Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s director of Public Health, said while the province can return to “quasi-normality” by the end of August, he offered no projections at Tuesday’s news conference about when all measures would be lifted.
He and Legault said they still want the federal government to maintain travel restrictions, including requiring that travellers to the country temporarily stay in a quarantined hotel.