MONTREAL -- Despite a sudden increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Quebec Thursday when 945 new cases were reported compared to 783 the day before and 656 on Tuesday, the time has come for some relaxation in the health measures imposed by the Quebec government.

Three regions of Quebec far from the major centres, Gaspesie-Magdalen Islands, the North Shore and Northern Quebec, are moving to a yellow alert zone on Friday and are no longer subject to a curfew.

The limit on the number of people who can participate in the same outdoor sports activity is now set at 12 in these regions. Close, short-term and infrequent contact between participants is permitted. Matches can therefore be played outdoors for team sports with minimal contact.

Indoor non-contact activities may also be played by occupants of the same private residence located in the yellow zone or by a maximum of 12 people with mandatory supervision in all public places.

In addition, extracurricular activities with students from different classes are allowed. Outdoors, brief contact activities may be carried out with a maximum of 12 students. Indoors, non-contact extracurricular activities are tolerated with a maximum of 12 students.

Both indoor and outdoor activities must be conducted without spectators.

In the red zone, theatres may open their doors. Spas and gyms may resume operations and hoteliers may reopen their indoor pools.

As of Friday, up to 250 people can be accommodated in a place of worship located in a red zone.

In orange zones, a return to full-time classes for secondary 3, 4 and 5 students took place last Monday and the curfew of 9:30 pm is maintained.

On Thursday, four deaths were added to the sad toll in Quebec, which now stands at 10,630 since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of hospitalizations was reported as 496, a decrease of 12.

Meanwhile, authorities reported Thursday that 39,814 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the previous 24 hours, for a total of just over 1.065 million doses.


-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2021.