MONTREAL -- Quebec officials are correcting their message about the so-called ‘moral contract’ that loosens COVID-19 restrictions over the Christmas holidays.

Premier Francois Legault is now making it clear that Quebecers can only take part in two gatherings within a four-day span between Dec. 24-27.

Legault made the clarification during a news conference alongside Health minister Christian Dube and health director Horacio Arruda.

Legault had previously said gatherings with a maximum of ten people can take place in that four-day span but had not specified how many gatherings could take place.

For a week before and a week after that four-day span, Quebecers are being asked to isolate, to curb the spread of COVID-19. People who cannot quarantine themselves a week before Christmas should avoid visiting with people outside their household, said Legault.

New cases in Quebec remain above 1,000 per day,  with the province reporting 45 more deaths due to the disease, and another 21 hospitalizations.


Legault also made an appeal to people living in private seniors’ residences (RPAs), saying that there are problems with the spread of COVID-19 in these establishments.

He noted that unlike with long-term care facilities (CHSLDs), where residents have less autonomy, people living in RPAs can come and go as they please. He asked them to be particularly careful, to respect physical distancing and to wear a mask when they go shopping or if they have visitors in their apartments.


Legault said he took issue with people who are travelling abroad for vacation, for example to all-inclusive resorts abroad.

“Let's remember what happened after the school break in early March,'' he noted, reminding people that Quebecers returned home from their trips sick and spread the disease in the province.

Legault said he didn’t want vacationers occupying hospital beds and putting pressure on the health care system.

“It's really not a good idea to go on vacation abroad in the coming weeks and months,'' he said.

- With files from The Canadian Press