Quebec health minister uses emojis to explain latest rules on gatherings
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube removes his mask as he arrives for the daily COVID-19 briefing Monday, August 3, 2020 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
MONTREAL -- Faced with confusion among Quebecers about the province's rules for private gatherings in COVID-19 orange zones, Health Minister Christian Dube turned to Twitter on Monday to clear things up.
He used emojis to explain the rule -- which is that indoor gatherings can technically still take place, but with only six people instead of 10 (which has been the maximum since the province deconfined).
The new rule also states that the number can exceed six if the gatherings are among families, but only from up to two households.
Quebecers were confused about the six-person rule outside of the context of families, as it wasn't clear that these six could come from different households.
In a rare Sunday evening press conference, Dube announced that a few Quebec regions, including Montreal, had officially switched from the yellow "early warning" zone to the orange "alert" zone on Quebec's regional alert map for COVID-19.
And while authorities are technically still allowing private gatherings, they are strongly advising against them.
"It is up to us, all of us, to do everything we can to limit the spread," Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante said at a press conference on Monday morning. "We can do it and we must do it."
After Quebec reported 586 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda said the province is officially entering the second wave of COVID-19 and that orange regions could turn red if Quebecers aren't extremey vigilant moving forward.
"We don't want to move back into lockdown," he said, adding that it "took a heavy toll psychologically and in many other ways."
Quebecers have been asked not to travel to green and yellow zones if they live in orange ones -- but they can still do so for work or to care for family members.