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February 18, 2021 – 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.

Cinemas and theatres

Premier François Legault announced the Québec government’s decision to offer financial compensation to movie theatre owners who will be reopening their doors on February 26, even though they will not be permitted to sell snacks.

This decision was made in response to the discontent of many owners who claim that without the sale of snacks, their revenues would not be sufficient for them to reopen.

Mr. Legault justified the ban based on Public Health’s concern about the risk of transmitting the virus when people remove their masks to eat and drink. The premier reiterated that this is the main reason why restaurants are still not allowed to reopen in red zones, which is the maximum alert level.

With regard to the grievances of some movie theatre owners, Mr. Legault explained that most said they would prefer to put off reopening since the ongoing curfew will prevent evening showings.

Mr. Legault explained that these owners prefer to remain under forced closure while continuing to receive financial assistance. And although some theatres offer children’s shows, revenues would not be enough to justify reopening.