QUEBEC CITY -- Some people won't be getting a break during spring break -- Quebec police.

A large-scale police surveillance operation is being organized across the province to ensure that citizens obey government rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

All the police forces in Quebec will be involved in this operation, which will run from February 26 to March 7.

The announcement was made Wednesday morning by the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, at a press briefing at the National Assembly.

March break shouldn't be a week of relaxation, she said, saying that she is banking on all officers mobilizing around the same goal in the coming weeks.

One police mandate will be to enforce the curfew in place across the provinces, whether from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in red zones or starting at 9:30 p.m. in orange zones.

Police will also have to ensure that the continued ban on private gatherings is respected.

They will be especially present in places and regions that attract a lot of people and encourage gatherings during holiday periods: resorts, tourist areas with a large number of cabins and cottages, snowmobile trails, parks, skating rinks, etc.

In the orange zones, restaurants could also attract some police visits during this period, as they're open but with restrictions. 

Quebec authorities announced Tuesday that they won't be installing police roadblocks between different regions or at interprovincial borders during this period, which is usually a time of heavy travel.

That idea that had been considered, but provincial leaders said they preferred instead to opt for an increased police presence on the ground.

The current regime of rules will be in effect at least until March 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2021.