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Quebec Is Officially Getting A Curfew Again

And there will be fines for violating it. Happy New Year!

Senior Editor
Quebec Is Officially Getting A Curfew Again

Cancel your New Year's Eve plans. Quebec's curfew is coming back. Premier François Legault made the announcement at a press conference Thursday.

As of Friday, December 31, Quebecers not on a list of exemptions will have to be in their homes from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

The last curfew lasted for more than four months, from January 9 to May 28, 2021. That curfew initially extended even to unhoused Quebecers until a superior court judge weeks later ordered a new exemption for the unhoused population, saying the rule had "a discriminatory and disproportionate effect" on them.

On Thursday, the premier said that the measure is "extreme because the situation is extreme." He explained that the government believes it would be impossible for police to enforce a curfew that only applied to the unvaccinated.

Fines for violating the curfew, he said, could range from $1,000 to $6,000.

Quebec reported 14,188 new COVID-19 infections on December 30, surpassing the 14,000 daily case barrier for the first time and breaking a record set just 24 hours before, when the province reported 13,149 new cases. That record itself was only a day old.

There were a total of 939 active hospitalizations reported on December 30, a net increase of 135 from the day before.

The province has already unleashed a sometimes dizzying flurry of new health measures in recent weeks. Bars, gyms and many venues have been closed since December 20. On December 26, Quebec reduced the number of people allowed to gather indoors on private property from 10 to six. Earlier in the month, officials cancelled a plan to increase that number to 20 for the holidays.

The quick succession of new rule announcements demonstrates how rapidly the COVID-19 situation has evolved. As late as December 16, Premier Legault said that while he wouldn't completely rule out a new curfew, it was not among the measures under immediate consideration.

By December 22, just six days later, officials were reportedly discussing nightly restrictions on travel outside the home.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Thomas MacDonald
    Senior Editor
    Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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