Legault defends decision to reopen Quebec

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 3, 2020

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial and territorial leaders said in a joint statement that coordinated easing of travel restrictions and public health capacity are among the criteria necessary to restart the Canadian economy, beset by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Police checkpoints, however, which are blocking access to far northern communities and preventing people from crossing into Gatineau from Ontario, will remain for the foreseeable future, she told reporters in Quebec City.

The number of people in Quebec who have recovered from COVID-19 as of Wednesday was 6,048, up 207 from the 5.841 recoveries reported a day earlier.

Legault's government plans to reopen schools and retail stores ahead of most other provinces, and he told reporters that he understands Quebecers are anxious about Montreal, in particular.

Manufacturers and construction sites reopening May 11 across the province.

Legault said earlier this week the situation in the homes would get better as at least 675 Armed Forces members will be helping out and more than 10,000 people signed up to volunteer in the homes. "There could even be deaths". "The idea is to gradually add workers and analyze the effect on the contagion".

All ten provinces have closed down most non-essential enterprises to fight the outbreak, putting thousands out of labor.

Montreal says masks should become norm for people venturing out in public.

The aim is to allow people to return to "a more or less normal life" while preventing a second wave of COVID-19, Drouin said.

On Tuesday, the city's public health director, Dr. Mylène Drouin, said "face-coverings must become a social norm", to prevent asymptomatic spread of the virus. "Some people will be asymptomatic, others might need to be hospitalized. We know it's a risky bet".

Legault said the workplace safety board will be responsible for ensuring that businesses comply with the health and safety directives but did not give details on fines or other penalties that could be incurred. Of those 98 new deaths, 92 were residents in long-term care homes.

But businesses are only set to reopen in Montreal on May 11, Legault said, adding that if public health authorities determine the city's hospitals can not cope with an eventual increase in cases that will come with a loosening of restrictions, he'll delay his plan.

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