Facing a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the government of Quebec has announced new lockdown restrictions.

Premier François Legault shared the news at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

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We're obliged today to announce a kind of 'shock treatment.'

François Legault

The biggest addition is a new curfew order.

For four weeks, from January 9 until February 8, 2021, Quebecers will have to remain in their homes between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. "except for work," the premier said.

Grocery stores are asked to close at 7:30 p.m. "to give time to people to get home," he continued.

Pharmacies and gas stations, however, "will be allowed to stay open."

Otherwise, telework will continue for office workers and all non-essential businesses will remain closed until February 8. 

As for places of worship, only funerals will be allowed and only with a maximum of 10 people. 

For primary schools, the original reopening date of January 11 is still on.

Secondary schools will reopen the week after, on January 18.

The government is going to supply secondary school students and teachers with masks.

"I know [these] measures are tough for our mental health," the premier admitted. "But we have to balance that with the situation in our hospitals."

"The situation is very serious."

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