Quebecers will still be able to get together with 20 vaccinated guests for Christmas, Premier François Legault confirmed on Wednesday, as the province previously announced.

However, he has not closed the door to a change of course if the health situation deteriorates.

"With 2,300 [new] cases today, it would not be responsible to not look at all the possibilities," he told reporters when he entered the National Assembly.

The province has nearly 16,000 active cases, a level not seen since last January, according to data from the National Institute of Public Health. Authorities expect the highly contagious Omicron variant to spike the rate of spread.

But what will really tip the scales is the number of hospitalizations.

"At the moment, we have around 300 hospitalizations, so we are within the capacity of about 800," Legault said, meaning that 800 beds have been reserved for COVID-19,

"I'm telling Quebecers to be careful -- the Omicron variant is very contagious, we do not yet know if this variant will have an impact on hospitalizations, but it is not impossible."

Legault also reiterated the measures announced Tuesday by Minister of Health Christian Dubé, who advised as much of a return to telework as possible and urged people to wear masks in the common areas of private residences for seniors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Dec. 15, 2021.