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The Quebec government revealed that additional COVID-19 restrictions will be in place, which will shut down businesses throughout the Christmas holiday and into the new year.
“The number of new cases remain high and some hospitals are at their limit,” Quebec Premier Francois Legault said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Legault announced that non-essential retail businesses will have to close between Dec. 25 and Jan. 11. Exceptions include grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, garages and pet shops. Big box stores, like Costco and Walmart, will not be allowed to sell non-essential items.
“It’s matter of equity fro small businesses,” Legault said.
Personal care services, like hair salons will also be closed from Dec. 25 to Jan. 11.
From Dec. 17 to Jan. 11, it will be mandatory to work from home, except for jobs where attendance is essential.
Primary and secondary schools will also be closed over the same time frame, daycare centres will stay open but parents are urged to keep children at home as much as possible.
Regions in the yellow zone of restrictions will move to orange, and orange zones will move to red restrictions.
Also beginning on Dec. 17, outdoor activities like hockey games and skiing will be allow, including ski lesson with a maximum of eight people, plus the coach. Quebec officials did urge people in the province to limit their close contacts, including interaction at ski resorts in the province.
Gatherings in backyards are still prohibited but Botanical Gardens will be open.
Anyone living alone can join one “family bubble” from Dec. 17 to Jan. 11.
“We think that these measures will give us every chance to protect our hospitals and our health workers,” Legault said. “We’re in the last stretch, we’ll have a great 2021 Christmas.”