By Matthew McCully
Starting May 28, the curfew will be lifted across Quebec, and by Monday, May 31 the majority of regions in the province will move from red to orange zone, Premier Francois Legault announced Tuesday. By June 14, most regions are expected to transition to yellow, and by June 28, the majority will be green, Legault said.
“It’s a big day today,” Legault commented during the press conference outlining the province’s deconfinement plan.
Next week, schools in all regions can reopen, the premier said, and the following week (May 31), students in secondary three, four and five, previously attending on alternating days, can return to in-person classes full time.
According to Legault, Quebecers have responded positively to the call to get vaccinated. The government’s target of getting 75 per cent of adults a first dose of vaccine by June 24 has now been revised to June 15, which will push forward the second dose date, allowing youth 12 to 17 the opportunity to get a second dose before returning to school in September.
Here’s how the next few weeks will play out:
May 28- goodbye curfew. Restaurant terraces everywhere can open. Outdoor meetings with up to eight people from different residences are allowed outside with social distancing, and inter-regional travel is permitted. Outdoor stadiums and venues can host events with people divided 250 per section, with a total attendance of 2,500 people.
May 31- majority of regions move to orange zone. Secondary three, four and five students head back to school full-time, restaurants can fully reopen.
June 11- Bars across the province can open their terraces, outdoor sporting activities with up to 25 people are permitted.
June 14- majority of regions move to yellow zone.
June 25- people who have received two doses of vaccine can meet privately inside homes, without masks or social distancing. Summer camps and vacation camps can open.
June 28- majority of regions move to green. Up to ten people from three residences can meet.
The province’s plan is to have 75 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and over fully vaccinated by the end of August, at which point masks will no longer be obligatory in most public spaces, Legault said. In the fall, cegeps and universities can host in-person classes.
During the press conference, Health and Social Services Minister Christian Dubé pointed out that he will hold a separate press conference on Thursday to announce the plan for the vaccination of 12 to 17-year-olds.
“There is hope,” Legault said, adding that the population should continue to follow health directives as the province gradually reopens.
According to the premier, if Quebecers remain vigilant and continue to get vacciné, then there’s hope for a petit parté this été.
Quebec reported 549 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. There are currently 6,707 active cases in the province.
Nine new deaths were reported. The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in Quebec now stands at 11,050.
Hospitalizations decreased by 17, bringing the total to 484, and 118 patients are in intensive care, an increase of two from the day before.
In the Estrie region, 43 new cases were reported in the last day, bringing the local total of active cases to 440. The bulk of the new cases were reported in Sherbrooke (20) and Granit (17), with the others in Coaticook (3), the Haute-Yamaska (3) and Val Saint-Francois (1).
So far, 49.5 per cent of the Estrie population has received at least one dose of vaccine.