Premier François Legault is going ahead with his plan to reopen the province, given the climbing vaccination rate and improving epidemiological situation.
The province will begin lifting restrictions, as expected, starting this Friday, including an end to the curfew. Dining on patios at restaurants and outdoor gatherings on private property will also be allowed.
Much of the province will see a further loosening of measures next Monday, May 31, when several regions move from red to orange level.
The regions going orange are:
Capitale nationale (Quebec City).
In those regions, high school students in Grades 9-11 will be back in the schoolroom full time. Restaurant dining rooms and gyms will also reopen.
However, Montreal and Laval, as well as parts of three other regions, will stay red for at least another week.
Legault said the decision to delay the reopening in Montreal was made after consulting with local public health officials but he doesn't expect those restrictions to be in place much longer.
"Even in red zones, the situation is improving," he said.
"If we continue this way all regions will turn orange on June 7."
The other regions that will remain in the red are:
Montmagny, L'Islet, Beauce-Sartigan, Robert-Cliche in Chaudière-Appalaches.
The regional county municipality of Granit in the Eastern Townships.
Eastern parts of Lower Saint-Lawrence, including Rivière-du-Loup, Les Basques, Témiscouata and Kamouraska.