He called on Quebecers to reunite against COVID-19.
The Quebec government will not go forward with its plan to tax unvaccinated citizens, according to Premier François Legault. In a press conference on February 1, he said though the Minister of Finance was ready to present a bill to the National Assembly, the government has chosen to scrap it on the grounds that it had become a highly divisive issue.
"I understand that this divides Quebecers and right now, we need to build bridges to listen to each other," Legault said. "Quebecers must remain united."
Other efforts to convince anti-vaxxers to get the vaccine, including outreach in communities with lower vaccination rates, have already begun.
"We continue to try to reach those who refuse to receive their first dose, but I'm also worried about the division we see in Quebec," Legault said.
As of February 1, 61% of adults in Quebec have received their third dose.
Quebec's latest gradual reopening began on January 31 with the reopening of restaurants and a relaxation of gathering rules to allow up to four people or two households within a single private residence.
Cinemas and theatres will follow with a reopening scheduled for February 7.
Interim Quebec National Public Health Director Dr. Luc Boileau has resisted calls to present a full reopening calendar. But in a January 30 appearance on Radio-Canada's Tout le monde en parle, the director suggested that an increase in third COVID-19 vaccine dose rates could lead officials to speed up the end of lockdown.
"Until now we have not had the same evolution we had last year for the second dose," he said. "If people are able to get their booster dose it will change the picture."
"If we reached the same rate as last year, it's finished," Boileau continued. "There's no more, we lift everything, there's no more lockdown."
Quebec reported a total of 2,852 COVID-19 hospitalizations on February 1, a decrease of 36. That number still puts the province above the level four hospital occupancy level identified by the Ministry of Health.