QUEBEC CITY -- A return to social isolation would be a 'disaster' for the economy and public finances.

That’s according to Quebec’s economy minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon.

While experts warn stricter measures may be necessary to contain the spread of the virus in the province, the minister hinted Wednesday a return to total confinement would be a shock to the economy.

He said the $15 billion deficit would also increase significantly. However, he clarified that public health was the priority, and that health professionals will decide the way forward.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2020.