Curfew in Montreal, Laval will return to 9:30 p.m., elementary schools to reopen in Quebec City

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Curfew in Montreal, Laval will return to 9:30 p.m., elementary schools to reopen in Quebec City
Montreal and Laval will see the curfew returned to 9:30 p.m. on Monday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Montreal and Laval will see the curfew returned to 9:30 p.m. on Monday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Premier François Legault has announced the curfew in Montreal and Laval will be pushed back to 9:30 p.m. from 8 p.m. starting next Monday, given the improving situation in the province's two largest cities.

As well, elementary schools will reopen in Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches, though secondary schools and some service centres — in Beauce, Lac-Etchemin and part of Bellechasse — will remain closed given the level of spread in the community, he said.

Legault said a further easing of restrictions will be done gradually to avoid a resurgence in cases.

"We are getting out of the tunnel but the train of the third wave will hit us if we don't progress gradually," Legault said at a news conference Tuesday.

To that end, Legault said measures will be extended the Outaouais region until May 9, because of the high rate of positive tests for COVID-19 in the region.

Quebec recorded fewer than 900 COVID-19 cases for the second day Tuesday, and fewer than 200 in Montreal. There are still more than 600 people being treated in hospital with the virus.

Pregnant people next on priority list

Vaccines will also be made available to pregnant people starting Wednesday, after some doctors had called for them to be given priority.

Legault said they are still waiting for those with chronic illnesses and disabilities to make their appointments. As vaccine supply ramps up, he said, they will soon make doses available to the general population.

At the news conference, Quebec's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, confirmed the death of a Quebec woman after she received the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

Arruda said tests showed the antibodies created by the vaccine caused the platelet problem that led to the patient's death.

He said 400,000 Quebecers have so far received the vaccine and that the woman's death is within the vaccine's average risk, which is that serious complications arise in one in every 100,000 people vaccinated.

But Arruda said it's important to weigh the risk of vaccination against the much higher risk of serious complications related to COVID-19.

Montreal and Laval will see the curfew returned to 9:30 p.m. on Monday.
Montreal and Laval will see the curfew returned to 9:30 p.m. on Monday.(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)