December 16, 2020 – Provincial government update on the COVID-19 pandemic
Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Québec government in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Essential businesses only
Québec Premier François Legault and the minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, confirmed that only businesses deemed essential will be allowed to stay open from December 25 to January 10 inclusively.
Minister Fitzgibbon stressed that, in the spirit of consistency, the closure will apply to all non-essential businesses without exception, while pointing out online sales will still be permitted.
The minister responsible for Seniors and Informal Caregivers, Marguerite Blais, announced the applicable measures to protect seniors, from December 17 to January 10 inclusively, in keeping with the new isolation measures.
In 24-hour periods, two informal caregivers can visit a senior in orange zones and one caregiver in red zones. Dining rooms in public and private residential and long-term care residences (CHSLDs), intermediate resources and family-type resources (IRs-FTRs) as well as private seniors’ homes will remain open during the Holidays. Physical distancing of two metres must however be respected among residents.
People who are alone will also be able to visit one family bubble during this period. However, when they return to their housing unit, they must self-isolate as a preventive measure for 7 days.
“These rules have been put in place to maintain a social connection with seniors and vulnerable people living in different environments, while exercising extreme caution to protect their health,” said Minister Blais.
Premier Legault announced that the government is looking at the possibility of issuing a vaccination certificate to facilitate access to activities, shows and travel.
Mr. Legault pointed out that this option is being considered, but that it is still too early to unveil any details.
Possible resumption of professional hockey in January
The National Hockey League may get special permission from Public Health to resume its activities in January, in compliance with specific health measures.
“I hope so. This is a very popular form of entertainment for Quebecers. Hotels are available to accommodate the players, and the teams could create their own health bubbles,” said Mr. Legault.