"With this pandemic, we cannot rule out anything."
Though officials announced a flurry of new health measures aimed at slowing the spread of the Omicron variant, Premier François Legault said Thursday that reintroducing a curfew in Quebec is off the table — at least for now.
"The measures we announced today are the measures we think will be enough to change the situation," the premier said in response to a question about a curfew.
"Of course, the increase in the number of cases may change in the next few days, the next few weeks, so we may have to adjust our measures, but today we don't have a plan to put again a curfew."
But he made clear that he's not excluding the possibility of a new curfew altogether. "With this pandemic," he continued, "we cannot rule out anything."
The new rules announced Thursday take effect Monday, December 20. They include a reduction in capacity in restaurants, bars, stores and other venues to 50%, as well as a ban on karaoke, dancing and office parties.
High schools, cegeps and universities will also see their 2022 in-person start dates postponed to at least January 10. Remote learning can begin before then.
"We do understand that people are tired," National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda admitted.
"The problem is the virus is not tired and it's coming back. And this is a problem and it's the epidemiology that makes us take those decisions that we don't like. We would prefer to be in another situation, but the virus is still fighting us."
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