Quebec to allow small indoor gatherings in much of province as vaccination rate rises

·2 min read
A server brings an order to a customer at a restaurant in Montreal on Sunday. Bars will also be allowed to open their terrasses starting Friday, June, 11. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A server brings an order to a customer at a restaurant in Montreal on Sunday. Bars will also be allowed to open their terrasses starting Friday, June, 11. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Premier François Legault is further loosening restrictions in much of the province, allowing residents — including those in Montreal — to gather with another household indoors starting next Monday.

Legault said the reduction in cases (only 149 were reported Tuesday) as well as the climbing vaccination rate has allowed him to move up the province's reopening plan. Some 75 per cent of Quebecers have one dose of a vaccine while eight per cent have had two.

As of Monday, June 14 at 12:01 a.m., Montreal, Laval and much of the surrounding area will be downgraded to yellow zones, in which indoor, masked gatherings are allowed among two households. .

Full details on public health guidelines for yellow zones are on the province's website.

Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said the situation has improved to the point that small gatherings can be allowed without posing a major risk.

"We think we can go more to a normal life," said Arruda, in regard to the vaccination rate and downward trend of COVID-19 cases in the province.

"We can manage more relationships, more contacts."

Tracking Quebec's COVID-19 curve

Overall cases, 7-day rolling average + daily numbers (for whole province) https://www.datawrapper.de/_/wMQlF/

Proms get the green light, no masks in classrooms

Legault said high school students will also be allowed to have a prom outside as of July 8. That's two weeks after the end of the school year, giving those attending sufficient time to build up immunity after receiving a shot of vaccine, he said.

The celebrations will be capped at 250 people and be a one-time, mask-free "special event," he said.

Meanwhile, teachers in yellow and green zones come next week will not be obliged to wear a mask in the classroom, as long as they can maintain two metres distance from students.

However, masks will be required for both students and teachers in common areas such as corridors and on school transportation.

Bar terrasses will also be allowed to reopen starting Friday, June 11, in regions where it was previously prohibited.

In the yellow zone, that means occupants of two households can share the same table.

Starting Friday, supervised outdoor sports and recreation with brief contact will also be permitted in groups of 25 people in yellow zones.

Chaudière-Appalaches remains the one region of concern and restrictions there will need to remain in place, Legault said.

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