QUEBEC CITY -- Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and following directives from the Quebec government, Quebec City has laid off 2,000 employees.

According to a news release sent by the city's communications department, layoffs represent 27 per cent of the total employees.

“For reasons of non-necessity and fairness to some of our fellow citizens who are themselves unemployed, we had to make difficult but necessary decisions,” said Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume.

Of the 2,000 employees, 1,600 were laid off last week and 400 on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 24, 2020.