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Can Quebec Festivals Actually Happen This Summer? Here's What Dr. Arruda Had To Say

This is what officials will be looking at.
Senior Editor

As spring approaches and the vaccine becomes available to the general population, Montrealers are waiting for news about whether their favourite Quebec festivals will be able to make their long-awaited return this summer. 

On Thursday, National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda offered a bit of clarity as to how officials will go about making that decision.

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He made clear that though "we have to think about it now," it's "too early" to outline the conditions that will make festivals possible.

But he predicted that their feasibility will depend on both the progress of the vaccination campaign and the evolution of the pandemic.

"The most crucial element," he said, will be the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated.

He warned, however, that even when "there are a lot of people vaccinated, we won't be able to relax [public health] measures quickly."

Some measures, like distancing and mask-wearing, Arruda said, will probably still be in place, particularly at the beginning of summer, when the vaccination campaign will still be pushing forward.

Summer programming will further depend on the trajectory of infections in the province.

"Are we going to have a significant drop like we experienced last summer? Or would we be in another wave?"

But Arruda also offered at least some hope, promising officials will "do everything" they can to be "inventive" and allow "people to also have a summer."

Public health will also be in communication with event organizers.

Some Montreal festivals, like Osheaga, have already announced their return in 2021.

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