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"We've discussed with doctors and experts in public health... It's almost unanimous — everyone says [cases will go up] in Montreal and Laval," Legault said, referencing elevated case numbers in other "worrying" regions of Quebec.
In the Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches and Outaouais regions, Legault said special emergency measures will be extended until April 18.
The closure of non-essential businesses and schools in these regions was expected to come to an end on April 12.
Special emergency measures
The extended emergency measures apply to cities and municipalities including Communauté métropolitaine de Québec, Gatineau and the MRCs of Collines-de-l’Outaouais, Beauce-Sartigan, Bellechasse, Etchemins, La Nouvelle-Beauce and Robert-Cliche.
They include the closing of cinemas, theatres and museums and limit places of worship to 25 people.
“We had hoped that the situation would improve, but we have to admit that with the variants, the epidemiological picture can change very quickly, and that is what is happening in some regions,” said Christian Dubé, minister of health and social services, in a statement.
“Everyone needs to follow the instructions to end the pandemic.”