Despite an increase in COVID-19 caseloads in recent weeks, the City of Montreal announced it will not be renewing the local state of emergency that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.
Instead, the city said today in a news release that starting Friday, it will move into "alert mode." The city has not provided details about what this means.
In a news release Monday, the city said high vaccination rates and the imminent implementation of a vaccination passport will allow it to plan and carry out its emergency orders without depending on the "exceptional powers" allowed by the state of emergency.
The emergency order, imposed on March 27, 2020, gave the city the power to act quickly to take any measures it deemed necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, such as creating emergency shelters to support people experiencing homelessless, opening screening clinics, outdoor food stops and other initiatives in partnership with community organizations.
Despite lifting the state of emergency, authorities are renewing their call for vigilance and reiterating the importance of respecting health measures to limit the scale of the fourth wave.
"Montreal, its teams of experts, the regional public health department and the health and social services network continue to closely monitor the situation and will be ready to make the best decisions if changes occur," the release reads.
The provincial state of emergency — decreed on March 13, 2020 — in still in place and was renewed last week for a period of 10 days.
The Quebec government has said that starting Sept. 1, Quebecers will need to show proof of vaccination to enter non-essential businesses such as bars and restaurants.