MONTREAL -- Police officers were busy Friday evening and throughout the night in Montreal and Quebec City where gatherings multiplied with the lifting of the curfew and the gradual easing of restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Montreal, people flocked to terrasses, parks and other outdoor public spaces for the first time in months.

Montreal police (SPVM) deployed several police officers on the ground to disperse the crowds in the Old Montreal area as well as in Laurier Park, said SPVM spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant.

Other gatherings took place in the Old Port of Montreal as well as in La Fontaine Park, Jarry Park and Laurier Park, but the atmosphere was rather festive and no incidents were reported by police.

"We remind people that there is a social distance that must be respected. I would say that's the only point to report. Yes, it was festive, but the social distancing must be maintained," said Brabant.

Brabant added that the SPVM was not called to intervene.

"I would say that around midnight, half past midnight, people left without making a fuss. Everything went very well," he said.

He could not say, however, whether any tickets had been issued for non-compliance with sanitary measures.

"There are checks that will be done this morning on the tickets," said Brabant. "We should have some figures later today to know if tickets have been issued in relation to the sanitary measures that are still maintained."

In Quebec City, numerous people were at Victoria Park where tempers flared between two individuals.

Quebc City police (SPVQ) had to intervene shortly after 9:30 p.m. when a young man in his 20s was stabbed.

"The victim was transported to a hospital, but we do not fear for his life," said SPVQ spokesperson David Pelletier. "No suspects have been arrested at this time. According to our first information, the victim and his attacker knew each other."

As of Friday night, restaurant terrasses located in the red and orange zones can accommodate a maximum of two adults from different addresses per table with children.

Outdoor gatherings are also allowed on private property and balconies for up to eight people from two family bubbles, provided that physical distancing and mask rules are respected.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 29, 2021.