MONTREAL -- Fewer than 1,000 Quebecers received a ticket last week for violating the curfew, even while protests increased.

Between April 12 and 18, Quebec police handed out 956 tickets, the Public Security Ministry reported Monday, 296 fewer than the previous week.

On April 11, a demonstration in Old Montreal against the 8 p.m. curfew turned sour. Since then, a few other demonstrations have been held in Montreal and Quebec City.

Masked demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal again Sunday night to denounce a curfew that many described as unscientific and harmful to society’s most vulnerable.

According to a provisional police report, one criminal arrest was made and two statements of offence were issued for failure to comply with health measures.

Last week, the Quebec provincial police (SQ) issued 263 statements of offence for curfew violations, including seven on the highway network in the greater Montreal area.

For the same period, the Montreal police reported issuing 402 tickets, a decrease from the previous week.

Between April 5 and 11, police officers issued a total of 1,252 tickets to those who did not respect the curfew, compared to 1,374 for the previous week.

During the first few months of the curfew this winter, the number of tickets issued remained at about 1,000 per week.

The curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in many red zones such as Montreal, Quebec City and Laval, and from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. in orange zones.

There is no curfew in the yellow zones, including Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands, as well as in Northern Quebec.

Quebec is the only province in Canada that is imposing a curfew on its population. A large majority of Quebecers have been living with a curfew since Jan. 9.

Premier François Legault has repeatedly touted the measure, which he says significantly reduces the number of gatherings in homes.

Quebec reported a drop in new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, posting 1,092 new infections, but it added 14 deaths to its toll and reported an increase in intensive care patients.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021.