"We know that there are many families [...] who exceed the 10 people."
COVID-19 cases spiking and the Omicron variant's presence in Quebec still couldn't dampen Premier François Legault's optimistic tone as he fielded holiday-related questions from journalists at a press scrum on December 1.
Coming to Quebecers live from a youth-filled vaccination clinic in Chaudière-Appalaches, Premier Legault reiterated that, as long as the COVID-19 situation allows for it, the government wants to loosen gathering rules so that 20 to 25 people are allowed in our homes for the holidays.
Le premier ministre r\u00e9pond aux questions des journalistes.\n \nSuivez notre m\u00eal\u00e9e de presse en direct https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1vAxRkjLWPzKl\u00a0\u2026— Fran\u00e7ois Legault (@Fran\u00e7ois Legault) 1638394988
"We know that there are many families — when we look at the brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces — who exceed the 10 people. [...] So we hope to be able, for Christmas, for New Year's, to have families a little enlarged to 20, 25 people," he said. "Right now, it's going very well on the hospitalization side."
While Legault didn't set anything in stone, he did say the success of Quebec's youth vaccination campaign is increasing our chances to host more loved ones over the holidays. He noted that 240,000 young people aged 11 to 15 — 37% — have already booked an appointment or gotten a vaccine dose, which he called "a good start."
"By adding these 240,000 children who will be vaccinated, it will help to have coverage in our society. It will help us to give ourselves the chance that during the holiday season, we will be able to increase to 20, 25 the number of people in our homes," he said.
For now, Legault said the government and public health are "following the situation closely from day to day." He said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's director of public health, is set to make an official recommendation about holiday gatherings next week.
Legault added that there are no plans to add restrictions if there's a significant case increase. He said it's important to look at hospitalizations, which are currently "under control."
"I repeat to all Quebecers, be careful between now and Christmas so that we can give ourselves the maximum chance to have reasonably-sized parties during the holiday season," Legault said.
Currently, a maximum of 10 people from different addresses or the occupants of three households are allowed to gather privately in homes throughout Quebec.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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