At his daily press briefing on Monday, Premier François Legault was asked by La Presse Canadienne about any potential plan to reopen Quebec restaurants and the additional restrictions they may have to follow. But according to the Premier, public health authorities don't plan to allow restaurants to open "in the short term." Legault highlighted that reopening restaurants will present many logistical issues in the enforcement of social distancing rules.

"I know it's difficult, but we're going to help people who are in the restaurant industry, in the hotel industry, and culture in general."

"When it's time to reopen, we will try to help them financially, but it's true that for the moment, in the short term, we do not plan to reopen" restaurants and hotels, said Legault

Between April 28 and April 30, the Quebec government announced plans to gradually reopen some regions, schools, and businesses beginning May 4.

Manufacturing and construction will follow on May 11.

In Montreal, the epicentre of the health crisis in Quebec, a high number of hospitalizations prompted the Premier to delay the reopening of retail establishments to May 18.

Right now, there are no public plans to reopen any other sectors.

Dr. Horacio Arruda explained that social distancing will be extremely challenging in restaurants due to the nature of the establishment. 

He elaborated on the many approaches restaurants could take, such as limiting the number of clients in the dining room, not admitting anyone with symptoms, and placing screens between tables.

But issues still remain with how to manage social distancing. 

"It's certain that, if there are people who rub shoulders with each other, they could be at the same table without being two meters from each other," explained Dr. Arruda. 

"Unfortunately, restaurants, activities that bring together hundreds of people, shows — it's going to take a while because it's harder to maintain the two-meter distance," Legault asserted.

In all cases, the Premier has said that he "would not hesitate" to intervene and postpone reopenings if public health officials find they have a negative impact on the population.

Stay tuned for more news. 

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