The warm weather brought a large number of visitors to the Brome Lake and Sutton areas on the weekend, and a large amount of concern to several local residents as a result. Fuelled in particular by the thought that people from Montreal, which has Canada’s highest concentration of COVID-19 infection, could be coming out to the Townships and spreading infection along the way, residents took to online forums to vent their frustrations.
Facebook page Knowlton.com saw a number of concerned locals share their fears and frustrations, with a particular focus on groups of cyclists who either appeared to be or overtly announced that they had come from Montreal.
According to the directives issued through Quebec’s current state of sanitary emergency all gatherings are prohibited at the moment, including group bike rides.
“Even if cyclists want to follow the two-metre physical distancing rule, it might be difficult to do so all the time, since the distance between cyclists changes constantly depending on their speed and road conditions,” the restrictions state. “In addition, at this time, there are few studies to support or refute the safety of riding two metres apart. Therefore, it is preferable not to go on group rides.”
Adding this to the fact that people are not supposed to be travelling outside of their home regions at this time, many were left wondering while the Sûreté du Québec did not take more action on the matter.
Asked about the weekend activity, Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Aurelie Guindon told The Brome County News that although officers were “very present” on the territory on the weekend she did not have record of interventions related to the public health directives or violations of social distancing rules. She did state that the SQ handed out six tickets to drivers in the region, but clarified that these were all for Highway Code violations.
The Brome County News reached out to Town of Brome Lake Mayor Richard Burcombe and Sutton Mayor Michel Lafrance for comment on their residents concerns, but received no response by press time. A recent report in the Journal de Montreal shared similar concerns coming from both residents and the Mayor of Bromont, a community that has been much harder hit by infections over the course of the pandemic so far.