At the daily press briefing Wednesday, Premier François Legault announced that Quebec will soon allow certain sporting activities. Non-contact sports, such as golf and tennis, are set to resume. The news comes after public health officials announced another 706 new confirmed cases in the province.
These sports will resume throughout Quebec, including the Montreal metropolitan area, beginning May 20, Minister for Education Isabelle Charest explained at a later press conference.
She stressed that "the word of the day is prudence." Players will still have to respect social distancing measures.
Legault said that the details of the announcement will come as good news for all Quebecers.
He also joked that he's been overdue for a tennis match with his two sons, though admitted that he's "not sure" if he'll be the one to win.
"Getting moving helps us to manage stress," Charest said, underlining the importance of spending time outside for mental and physical health.
As for team sports, those will come at a later date. Charest would not disclose when but said different parties are continuing to evaluate the situation.
They're also examining if and when professional team practices can resume.
But despite the resumption of some sports, non-essential travel is still discouraged.
The Minister suggested that the government would allow these sports to take place in the Montreal area so as not to encourage travel to other regions.
Réouverture partielle et progressive des territoires de la Sépaq à partir du 20 mai. Plusieurs #parcsnationaux et… https://t.co/REhwxcYgFQ— Sépaq (@Sépaq) 1589399204.0
La Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) will also proceed with a gradual reopening of some of its spaces.
"Public health authorities have given the go-ahead for a partial resumption of activities in national parks and wildlife reserves," the organization wrote in a statement.
"Sépaq is taking steps to make the establishments accessible in a community-based outdoor approach. Although reduced, the initial offer of activities will allow nature lovers to return to these exceptional territories."
On annonce aujourd’hui la reprise de certains sports individuels qui se pratiquent à l’extérieur et sans contacts.… https://t.co/ohBIDLccuy— François Legault (@François Legault) 1589397699.0
Also on Wednesday, public health also confirmed it has conducted 43,000 tests per million inhabitants since the crisis started. Up to now, Legault said, Quebec has been one of the jurisdictions that conduct the most tests in the world.
The government hopes to increase to 14,000 tests per day in the coming days — something that Legault admitted has proved challenging.
He promised Quebecers that he's personally following the situation and that public health will make every effort to make more tests available.
#COVID19 - Au Québec, en date du 13 mai 2020 à 13 h 15, la situation est la suivante: 39 931 cas confirmés 261 569… https://t.co/il58BpGXDI— Santé Québec (@Santé Québec) 1589390390.0
Stay tuned for more news.