In an Instagram story on December 30, following François Legault's 5 p.m. press conference, Igloofest announced that the event usually held in the Old Port of Montreal will not be able to receive festivalgoers this winter due to new health measures.
Organizers issued a message in English and French to explain the situation to ticket holders:
"We have once again been listening to the government and Santé Public's announcements and, like you all, we are in shock. We have unfortunately come to the conclusion that, under these circumstances, we will not be able to hold Igloofest Montreal.
"We need the next few days to organize and will be contacting ticket holders as soon as possible."
So if you purchased a ticket, you should be expecting to hear from the company shortly.
The big return of the festivities had been announced via social networks on October 27, 2021, and it was to be the fifteenth anniversary of Igloofest. A few days later, on November 4, the program was announced, and the headliners included renowned artists from the electronic scene such as Diplo, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Bonobo, Dillon Francis and more.
In December 2021, Igloofest announced that it would be holding its first-ever edition in Québec City in March 2022. So far, Igloofest's website only specifies that the Montreal edition has been cancelled.
According to the new restrictions announced on December 30, public outdoor events are still allowed, but can only accommodate a maximum of 250 fully vaccinated people.
Rejoice! We can officially go on nightly walks again (if you can handle the cold) because Quebec's curfew was lifted as of Monday, January 17. That means no rushing to get home on time while risking fines.
During a press conference on Thursday, Premier François Legault said, "The reason we did this was to stop the exponential growth of the number of infections and then the number of hospitalizations. So given that we seem to have reached a peak, that permits us to remove the curfew."
In an Instagram video, the premier announced the news about the end of the province-wide curfew but added "We need to be careful, reduce our contacts, think of the personnel in our hospitals. I’m counting on you.”
The curfew was implemented on New Year's Eve and required everyone in the province to stay inside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with some exemptions.
This curfew, which lasted just over two weeks, was much shorter than the previous one.
Quebec's first curfew lasted over four months, from January 9 to May 28, 2021.
We no longer have to worry about being out during certain hours, but Quebecers are still prohibited from having private indoor gatherings right now. Luckily, there are all kinds of outdoor activities you can do in Montreal.
With the winter storm the province is currently facing, we're not sure anyone will feel like going for a stroll past 10 p.m. tonight anyway. But at least now we know we can without risking fines!
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
On December 30, 2021, François Legault announced a handful of restrictions across Quebec, which included the closure of indoor dining and places of worship, and the postponement of a return to in-person learning at schools in the new year. In a January 13 Facebook post, Legault confirmed elementary and high school students would be returning to class as of Monday, January 17. But what about university students?
Montreal CEGEPs and universities also reverted to remote learning, however, things are looking a little different for students returning to in-person classes at post-secondary institutions. Premier Legault stated in a January 12 post that while universities could reopen their doors as of the 17th, they are being given extra leeway to determine the exact date in which in-person classes could resume.
Concordia University students are expected to return back to in-person learning on February 3, per a recent news notice. Vannina Maestracci, the university spokesperson, revealed that the initial date was extended beyond January 20, and any possibility of a further extension will be relayed to the community as soon as possible.
The Concordia Library and Birks Student Service Centre remain open, along with a number of designated break areas for students to eat. As for mask requirements, students will be expected to wear procedure masks "when entering university buildings and using shared indoor spaces," including classrooms, the university states.
In-person learning will be returning even earlier for McGill University students. With "Tier 1" activities (labs, etc.) having been in-person since January 10, most instruction will be moving from online to in-person as of January 24. McGill's media relations rep, Katherine Gombay issued a statement that despite plans for return, the university remains flexible with contingency plans put into place in case the COVID-19 situation changes.
Université de Montreal is expected to return to in-person sessions as of January 31,* although their libraries have remained open. The university has also made it clear that the use of masks is "mandatory" across campus for all activities at all times.
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) has also stated that remote learning will take place until January 31.* However, many activities in which face-to-face teaching is essential will return as early as January 24.
Have you been having a hard time trying to procure a rapid test in Quebec? You're not alone! Luckily it seems as if there is a glimmer of hope as the distribution of rapid tests is set to pick up province-wide.
Now, as PCR tests are reserved for priority groups, at home rapid tests have become the norm and Santé Québec is clarifying exactly when to use the testing kit for a more accurate diagnosis.
La personne est contagieuse environ 2 jours avant l\u2019apparition de sympt\u00f4mes, m\u00eame pour les asymptomatiques \n Le test rapide doit \u00eatre fait dans les jours qui suivent les contacts de cas ou au d\u00e9but des sympt\u00f4mes pour que la charge virale ait plus de chances d\u2019\u00eatre d\u00e9tect\u00e9epic.twitter.com/mb3xRFGxdb
"People can become contagious about 2 days before the appearance of symptoms, even for asymptomatic people," the Ministry of Health said in a January 12 tweet alongside a graph comparing the efficacy of rapid and PCR tests over time.
To avoid running the risk of a false negative, potentially wasting a test, Santé Québec says that "the rapid test should be done within days of contact with a positive case or at the onset of symptoms for the virus to be more likely detected."
The rapid tests, the graph shows, are effective for less than a week following the onset of symptoms — just a fraction of the 14-day window in which a PCR test can detect a COVID-19 infection.
PCR tests are effective almost as soon as an infected person becomes contagious, about four days after contact with a positive case, according to the ministry.
Though right now Quebec isn’t counting the number of positive at-home tests — leading to an undercount in official tallies — the government is creating a platform where the public can self-report their COVID-19 status.
That is if residents can find a rapid test at all. Pharmacies have been in short supply despite promises of widespread distribution.
However, recent announcements suggest the situation could be changing.
In a January 5 press release, the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) said that Quebec was set to receive another batch of testing kits beginning Tuesday, January 11, and continuing into the following week. The testing kits, which are available to those 14 years of age and over, include five tests and can be replenished per 30 day period.
On January 13, the Ministry of Health announced the province is set to receive another 70 million rapid tests over the course of the next few months, pending Health Canada's approval of a partnership with a private distributor.
A Montreal restaurant promises to open on January 30 in violation of public health rules. Quebec ordered the closure of bars on December 20 and restaurant dining rooms on December 31 and has not said when they can reopen.
"We can no longer comply with these arbitrary measures that have been proven NOT to be effective in solving the issue we are all faced with," avenue Fairmount Italian restaurant Kesté wrote in an Instagram post Thursday, further warning that "if something doesn't change and we don't take a stand small businesses will turn into something of the past."
Kesté is calling on other restaurants, bars and cafés to open on January 30, too. It shared an image of a flier encouraging businesses to "take back our rights" and participate in a "national mass movement" of civil disobedience.
"As a city we all need to work together to no longer allow any more unnecessary lockdowns that no one supports," the Instagram post reads. "We cannot fix the damage done in the past but we can definitely prevent it from happening again."
Health Minister Christian Dubé responded to Kesté's commitment to reopen in a press conference on Thursday.
"We understand that people want to go back as quickly as possible to a normal life," he said. "But we need to do things gradually."
"I would just ask this restaurant owner and all other merchants to be patient. I know it's difficult." He pointed to government programs offering businesses financial support.
"I'm just saying, let's make sure that we don't go back."