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Canadian province reintroduces 10PM curfew as infection rates skyrocket

The Quebec government will reinstate a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning December 31 as the province is currently fighting a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections. Reportedly, the omicron variant is the cause for the skyrocketing case number. 

“I know we’re all tired, but it’s my responsibility to protect [Quebecers],” said Premier Francois Legault. “[Experts] agree that, in the coming weeks, there is a risk that the number of hospitalizations will exceed our capacity, which would eventually lead us to no longer being able to treat everyone.”

Legault made the announcement during a Thursday evening press conference, where he was joined by Christian Dube, the Health Minister, and Dr. Horacio Arruda, Public Health Director.

Those found in violation of the curfew will have to pay fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. The premier added in his announcement of the new measure, “The gesture is extreme because the situation is extreme.”

Quebecers are also barred from hosting private gatherings with more people than are in their household bubble, other than caregivers. Single individuals, including those who have children, are permitted to join with another family bubble.

“No one here is happy about this,” said Dube. “But is it the right thing to do under the circumstances? We are convinced that it is.” 

Additionally, places of worship are closing, except for funerals hosting a maximum of 25 people. Restaurant dining rooms as well as stores will be closed on Sundays for the upcoming three weeks. Gas stations, convenience stores, and pharmacies are exempt from the closures.

Outdoor events are still currently allowed for up to 250 guests, but indoor sports are suspended. Elementary and secondary schools along with universities have planned to extend their holiday closures until January 17. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CTV NEWS

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