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May 18, 2021- Canadian and Québec government update on the COVID-19 pandemic

Here is an update on recent decisions and actions by the Canadian and Québec governments in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Easing of measures in Québec

The epidemiological situation in Québec has improved greatly. François Legault announced the outline of the reopening plan.

“I want to tell you how impressed I am with Quebecers, the millions of Quebecers who followed the rules. And now, millions of Quebecers are getting vaccinated. Everyone is stepping up, especially young people! I’m so proud of you! Today, thanks to you, I can announce a reopening plan,” said the premier.

Reopening plan

May 28

Friday, May 28, the curfew will be lifted everywhere in Québec.

Restaurant terraces will open in red zones and receive two adults or occupants of the same household per table.

Private outdoor gatherings will be permitted for a maximum of eight people or for the occupants of two households.

Travel between regions will be permitted.

Large venues and outdoor stadiums will be able to receive a maximum of 2,500 people, in several separate areas of 250 people each.

June 11

On June 11, bar terrasses will open in red and orange zones.

Two adults or the occupants of the same household will be permitted, per table.

Outdoor supervised sports and leisure activities in groups of 25 will be permitted, with no contact in red and orange zones and with contact in yellow zones.

June 14

On June 14, most regions will transition to yellow.

Bars will be able to reopen and two households will be able to gather indoors.

Outdoor contact sports will be permitted.

June 25

As of June 25, there will be an easing of rules around face coverings and physical distancing between two people who have received their two vaccinations.

Outdoor festivals will be able to receive up to 2,500 people while respecting a health protocol. Details for this type of event will be announced shortly.

Day camps and summer camps will be able to reopen.

June 28

On June 28, most regions will transition to green.

Indoor gatherings will be permitted for 10 people from three households.

All indoor team sports will be permitted.

End of August

The premier announced that at the end of August, face coverings will no longer be mandatory in most public spaces if 75% of the population 12 years of age and over have received their two vaccinations. Furthermore, CEGEP and university students will be able to return to the classroom.

Click here for a detailed description of the easing of measures.

Vaccinations in Québec

The goal of vaccinating 75% of the Québec adult population will be attained on June 15 rather than June 24, as initially planned.

Minister of Health and Social Services Christian Dubé announced that if all goes well, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 will have received both of their vaccinations before the return to school.

He also announced that a drive-thru vaccination centre for cars and bicycles will be opened on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit over the next three weekends. An announcement will be made to this effect on May 19.

Status of the pandemic in Canada

Over the last week, 5,700 cases were reportedly daily. The number of serious and critical cases of the disease remains high. Over 3,600 people with COVID-19 were treated in Canada’s hospitals each day, including 1,300 in intensive care units.

Vaccine supplies

This week, Canada will receive 4.5 million doses of the vaccine, including a Pfizer delivery that will arrive ahead of time. “This is the highest number of doses in one week, so far. These doses will help to maintain Canada‘s position among the top G20 countries in terms of daily vaccinations, a ranking we’ve already held for the last two weeks,” said Justin Trudeau.

Nine million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be added in July. Starting now and at least until the end of July, Canada will continue to receive over 2 million doses of the vaccine on a weekly basis.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that this summer, when the number of cases will have dropped and at least 75% of Canadians will have received their first dose of the vaccine and 20% will have received their second dose, people will be able to gather outdoors. As for indoor activities, Canadians will have to wait until the fall when three-quarters of the population will have received two doses of the vaccine.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam shared the recommendation of the National Advisory Commission on Immunization (NACI), which is that young people between the ages of 12 and 18 should receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Made in Canada

The prime minister announced that his government will invest close to $200 million in the company Resilience Biotechnologies to strengthen Canada’s capacity to manufacture vaccines and therapeutic products.

The money invested will enable the company to manufacture, on a yearly basis, between 112 and 640 million doses of a messenger RNA vaccine, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In addition, Resilience Biotechnologies has committed to maintaining 500 well-paid, full-time jobs in Mississauga, for 25 years.