Those who absolutely must have 10 people over before Sunday can do so, the premier said.
Well, at least there's no curfew – but you might have to cancel your post-Christmas party. Premier François Legault, flanked by his colleagues from the provincial health ministry, announced that gatherings of up to 10 people won't be allowed after December 25.
As of that day, six people or two household bubbles will be allowed to gather in a single household.
"From here to Sunday, we'll let people who really want to gather with 10 people do it," said Legault about the coming holiday gatherings.
"But on the other hand, if you are able to postpone your holiday party, do so."
Previously, the government planned to allow up to 20 people to gather in one household. Then, with the Omicron variant's sudden arrival and the corresponding rise of daily case counts, Legault and his ministers dropped that number to 10.
But Omicron's advance has been unstoppable – Legault said today's total, to be announced tomorrow, will top 9,000, easily setting a new record – so now, any more substantial weekend-long holiday plans will have to be cancelled.
The premier once again left the door open to further moves if they prove necessary.
"These measures we're announcing tonight, we think they are sufficient for keeping control of the hospitals," he said. "But we won't hesitate, in the next days, if it's necessary to add measures."
And Legault highlighted that older people, especially, should be considered before making holiday plans. "Seventy percent of people in the hospital are 60 years old or older," he said.
"It's a question of judgement — ideally, you stay at home [...] if you stay at home, there is almost no risk."
On December 22, the province recorded 6,361 new cases, 445 total hospitalizations with 88 of those patients in intensive care. There have been 501,698 cases officially reported in Quebec since the beginning of the pandemic.