All of Quebec to move to green zone next week as COVID-19 infections drop
MONTREAL -- All of Quebec will move to the green zone as of Monday, as COVID-19 cases drop and vaccinations continue.
"Quebec's situation continues to improve," said Quebec Premier Francois Legault in a tweet ahead of a Tuesday afternoon news conference. "We are exactly where we thought we were with our vaccination plan and our deconfinement plan. As of Monday, all of Quebec is moving to the green level!"
The premier said at the news conference that, as of Friday, those in private homes with both vaccine doses can gather without wearing masks, and 3,500 people are welcome at outdoor festivals without assigned seating.
On Monday, a maximum of 10 people can gather indoors, and 20 people outdoors.
At restaurants and bars, staff can now seat 10 people at an indoor table, and 20 people can sit together on terrasses.
"Monday, we'll go from small parties to medium parties," Legault said.
For outdoor sports, Legault said the limit is now 50 players plus 50 spectators, and for indoor sports, the number is half that: 25 players and 25 spectators.
For weddings, the limit is now 25 people for indoor ceremonies and 50 for those tying the knot outdoors.
He heralded vaccination numbers, notably that 80 per cent of eligible Quebecers have received at least one dose of vaccine.
"We've reached our objectives, but we have some objectives to meet in certain groups," said Legault.
He said those under 40 years old remain an area of concern, and he hopes that those demographics can be encouraged to get their vaccinations.
Quebec public health director Horacio Arruda said all of the international rules on travel remain in negotiation, but that if someone needs to travel ugently, second vaccinations won't be denied.
"My advice is if you don't travel, you can't wait," said Arruda. "If you must get vaccinated immediately, go and you'll get your dose."
Health Minister Christian Dube said those who have had COVID-19 plus one vaccination are considered fully vaccinated. However, not all jurisdictions do not agree with Quebec's position, and a second dose will be available for those who plan on travelling and want another dose.
On the Delta (B.1.617) variant, Arruda said it is another reason to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Legault said the province is watching the number of variants closely, and the U.K. situation is a good example of how variants can spread.
"We have to be careful," said Legault. "We also know that it may be good during the summertime, but we have to prepare ourselves for the fall."
Quebec has reported 35 B.1.617 variant cases out of the 7,777 total variant cases reported.
The news comes as Quebec reported 84 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and four more deaths. Hopitalizations dropped by seven for a total of 161 with 40 people in intensive care wards.
There are 1,225 active novel coronavirus cases in the province.
A total of 5,961,393 people have received on dose of vaccine in the province, and 1,525,525 people have received both doses.
LISTEN ON CJAD 800 RADIO: Federal public safety minister Bill Blair joins the Andrew Carter Morning Show talking about new rules for international travellers