The Ministry of Public Safety announced Wednesday morning that it would limit access to more areas of the province. "Starting at noon on April 1, additional checkpoints will be deployed in and around four new regions" of Quebec, a statement reads. The action "is intended to limit non-essential travel and thus protect the population from COVID-19."

"By restricting entry and exit in this way, public health authorities believe they can further limit and prevent the spread of COVID-19."

The order from public health authorities will affect the following areas:

  • the Outaouais health region;

  • the territories of the regional county municipalities of Antoine-Labelle and Argenteuil for the Laurentian health region;

  • the territories of Autray, Joliette, Matawinie and Montcalm for the Lanaudière health region; and

  • the agglomeration of La Tuque for the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec health region.

The statement makes clear, however, that these measures are in place to control only non-essential travel.

They "do not apply to activities that make it possible to obtain and provide health care and services, or those that provide humanitarian support and essential services for the continuity of the supply chain in all regions of Quebec."

These additional checkpoints follow the government's request that residents not travel between regions unless it's necessary.

On March 28, the government established initial checkpoints in: 

  • Bas-Saint-Laurent;

  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean;

  • Abitibi-Témiscamingue;

  • Côte-Nord;

  • Nord-du-Québec;

  • Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine;

  • Nunavik; and

  • Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James.

Though Premier Legault has asked people not to visit or leave Montreal unless it's "very necessary," the island is currently not one of the regions with checkpoints.

On Friday, Mayor Plante made further clear that the city is not under a lockdown or in quarantine.

The metropolis is nonetheless the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the province, with almost half of its total number of cases as of March 31.

The city is, however, enforcing social distancing measures.

Police now have the power to break up gatherings and issue fines of between $1,000 and $6,000 to individuals who refuse to cooperate.

Stay tuned for more news.

 

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