Five Quebec regions lower their alert level to orange
MONTREAL -- Five of Quebec's regions will see COVID-19 public health measures ease as they officially move from red to orange alert levels.
Those zones are:
- Quebec City
- Eastern Townships
Among the changes the residents of those regions will see are the delay of the start of curfew from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Restaurant owners will be able to open their dining rooms, though with restrictions. Those include a maximum of two adults per table who may be accompanied by their minor children.
"A lot of people were happy. I know that a lot of customers were happy, and a lot of other people in the restaurant business were very happy," said Raphaelle Tetrault, who owns a coffee shop in Bromont, in the Eastern Townships. "They're all starting to prepare themselves. Most of the restaurants have reservations."
Gyms and performance halls will also be authorized to re-open. Houses of worship will be allowed a limit of 100 people inside.
Indoor sports and recreational activities will be permitted for individuals, couples or members of a family bubble.
Private gatherings in homes remain banned and travel between regions is not recommended.
Despite the partial reopening, some people living in the orange zone said they weren't going to make any changes.
"The risk, my age. I can live without going to the restaurants, it's not like I need to go to social places for now. When things are safe and back to normal, I will. But for now, until everything's clear, I'm staying home," said one Bromont resident.
The five zones join Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Cote-Nord, Bas-St-Laurent, Gaspesie, Nord-du-Quebec and Outaouais in being classified as orange.
Only Montreal, Laval, Lanaudiere, the Laurentians and Monteregie remain as red zones. Last week, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said there are “still too many active cases” to change the alert level in those regions.
Legault said the spread of the more contagious U.K. variant of the novel coronavirus could lead to an increase in deaths and hospitalizations.
- With files from CTV News Montreal's Billy Shields