Quebec announces curfew amid COVID-19 surge in Canada

2021-01-07 12:04:46

  A handout picture released by the Ministre de la Sant et des Services sociaux (MSSS) of Quebec on December 14, 2020 shows Saint-Antoine long-term care home resident Gisele Levesque, 89 years old, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 in Quebec City, Canada. [Photo/Agencies] OTTAWA - Canada continues to see increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases as the country reported a total of 626,174 cases and 16,361 deaths as of Wednesday evening, according to CTV. Wednesday evening, Canada's Quebec provincial government announced a curfew and extended the closure of high schools and businesses to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the province. Quebec is the first province to announce a curfew in Canada due to ravaging COVID-19. Quebec reported 2,641 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 217,999, including 8,488 deaths. Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced the new lockdown measures on Wednesday evening, which he described as "shock therapy." "We're talking here about saving lives and we're talking about saving our health-care system," Legault said at a press conference. The new measures will last for four weeks until Feb 8. The curfew will apply to the whole province except the Nord-du-Quebec administrative region. Under the curfew, people in the province have to be in their homes by 8 p.m. until 5 am or risk a fine of up to 6,000 Canadian dollars. Legault stressed that other than for going to work, there will be no excuses for violating curfew. He said the province's grocery stores will close at 7:30 p.m. every day to allow shoppers time to get home. Pharmacies and gas stations will be permitted to 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 four weeks. The announcement comes as the number of daily new cases and deaths continues to grow in the province. Quebec's death toll from COVID-19 currently stands at 8,488 since the beginning of the pandemic.