Quebec tightens reins on mask wearing, karaoke

Record Staff

People in Quebec who ignore or intentionally disobey mask rules will be subject to new fines as of Saturday.
In an announcement on Thursday morning, Premier Francois Legault said that although the vast majority of Quebecers have followed public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, these province-wide sanctions are needed because some aren’t respecting the rules, therefore endangering the elderly and the health network.
“We cannot accept that a few irresponsible people put all Quebec at risk,” the premier said. “It’s time to penalize them.”
The dollar amount of the fines has not been decided and will be announced in the coming days by the province’s public security minister. Legault did, however, say that the tightened restrictions would be implemented first in the regions that are at yellow in the new alert system launched earlier this week.
Later in the day on Thursday several different media also reported that the provincial government is banning karaoke indefinitely due to concerns over COVID-19.
The move is reportedly in response to the 72 of cases of COVID-19 directly linked to a karaoke night in a Quebec City bar. As of this writing the ban had not yet been confirmed by the government itself, although Legault did make allusions to such a move in his morning address.
The province reported an additional 188 cases on Thursday, along with two additional deaths. The number of hospitalizations increased by six to 119, while the number of people in intensive care decreased by two to 12.
In the Estrie 24 new cases were reported, and the number of hospitalizations decreased by one to a total of two. Neither of those two people is in intensive care.
The situation in the institutions and areas under special monitoring by the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS, most remained unchanged except the Lambton long term care home, where an additional four cases earned the CHSLD a spot on the province’s list of homes considered to be in a critical situation.

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