Quebec introducing COVID quarantine to rein in virus

Quebecers to remain in their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is calling it ‘shock therapy’ as he struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19

He has announced a four-week lockdown to begin on Saturday that will include a curfew that requires Quebecers to remain in their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. or risk of a fine of up to $6000.

Grocery stores will close at 7:30 p.m. to allow people to get home in time to meet the curfew. Gas stations and drug stores can remain open during curfew hours. Measures that had previously been in place, such as the closing of restaurant dining rooms, will also remain in place for the four weeks. 

“We’re talking here about saving lives and we’re talking about saving our health-care system,” said Legault.

The new restrictions do not include limits on the manufacturing or construction sector, nor a prolonged break for schools.

The measures will last for four weeks, until Feb. 8.

They include: 

  • A provincewide curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the first of its kind in Canada during the pandemic. There will be exceptions for essential workers and dog walkers near their home. The fine for breaking curfew will be $1,000 to $6,000.
  • All non-essential workplaces and businesses, including gyms and restaurants, will be closed. Curbside pickup at stores and delivery for restaurants will be allowed.
  • Places of worship must close.
  • Daycares will stay open. Elementary schools will open as planned on Jan. 11, but children in Grades 5 and 6 will be required to wear a mask.
  • High schools will remain closed for another week, opening Jan. 18. High school students and staff will be supplied with two government-issued three-layer disposal paper medical masks per day.
  • Grocery stores and corner stores must close at 7:30 p.m.
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings with people outside the household are prohibited.