Police in Quebec have the power to stop and question anybody outdoors between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., as the province’s COVID-19 curfew began on Saturday.
Any person without a valid reason to be out during curfew hours could face fines ranging between $1,000 to $6,000.
The Quebec premier has defended his decision to impose a curfew, though Francois Legault admitted the decision was difficult.
“The main reason for the curfew is to prevent gatherings, even the smallest ones,” Legault wrote in an open letter posted on Facebook. “It’s the addition of all the small breaches of the rules that feeds the virus.”
Police handed out tickets on Saturday evening to small groups of people who gathered in several cities to protest against the curfew.
Even the homeless are expected to abide by the curfew. Legault said there is enough space in shelters.
The curfew is to last the next four weeks.
Premier Doug Ford was asked at a media briefing last week if his government was going to impose a curfew in Ontario to try and curb a significant spike in COVID-19 cases. Ford said that everything was on the table, while Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said a curfew would be among the topics for discussion.
The province is expected to release new COVID-19 modelling numbers on Monday. The premier has said the figure will be a “wake-up call” to Ontarians.