Less than one week after Premier Legault outlined his government's plan to gradually reopen Quebec businesses, the first phase has begun. Retail stores with their own entrances from the exterior can open May 4 outside of the Montreal metropolitan community (CMM). Within the CMM, these stores are currently projected to open on May 11.
The construction and manufacturing industries will follow with a resumption of activities (with some restrictions) starting on May 11.
May 4 is also the date when some regions closed to non-essential travel will begin to reopen.
Police will withdraw their road checkpoints in:
"the Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, Pays-d’en-Haut and Laurentides regional county municipalities for the Laurentides health region;
"the territories of the Autray, Joliette, Matawinie and Montcalm regional county municipalities for the Lanaudière health region;
"the territories of the Bellechasse, L’Islet and Montmagny regional county municipalities for the Chaudière-Appalaches health region;"
and "Rouyn-Noranda for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue health region."
A stabilization in infection and hospitalization numbers outside of Greater Montreal has allowed the reopenings to proceed, Legault explained Tuesday.
The gradual process, he said, would allow public health officials to continuously monitor the situation and its effect on the population and to make interventions if necessary.
But he has consistently stated that he "would not hesitate" to halt or postpone openings if the situation deteriorates.
And even as some stores reopen, life will not return to normal.
"You have to act like, basically, if everyone you meet has the virus," the premier said on April 28, stressing that the two-metre social distancing rule must continue.
"So be careful. That way, we will be able to gradually get back to a normal life."
That message turned into a warning for Montreal residents later in the week.
"We tabled a plan, a forecast of deconfinement, especially in Montreal. I'm not too worried about the regions, but, for Montreal, there, it is very important, if we want to be able to start deconfinement in Montreal, first, that there are no gatherings," he told the public on Friday.
"With your neighbours, with your friends, with your family, please, if we want to be able to deconfine, especially in Montreal, there should be no gatherings. The battle is not won in Montreal."
Daycares and elementary schools, meanwhile, are scheduled to open in the CMM on May 19 after opening everywhere else in the province on May 11.
Stay tuned for more news.