Hardest-hit Canadian province of Quebec begins reopening

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 4, 2020

High schools, junior colleges and universities are to stay closed until September.

Legault says the construction and manufacturing sectors across Quebec will reopen as scheduled on May 11.

Quebec is the only province that plans to reopen schools before the summer.

"English school boards don't have the legal power to push back the opening of school establishments", his office said in an email. The government has also said the return to school on that timeline is not mandatory.

"While no English school board will reopen any of its schools and centres earlier than the dates proposed by the Government of Quebec, the respective English School Boards will decide if and when each of their schools and centres may reopen, once they determine that all the conditions required can be met in each instance", said the QESBA.

The prime minister said he would make a decision on allowing his children to go back to school "probably at the last minute", after considering class sizes and teacher attitudes.

The Quebec government has postponed the reopening of non-essential businesses in the greater Montreal region from May 11 to May 18, saying Montreal does not have enough available hospital beds to cope with the surge of new COVID-19 patients the reopening may cause.

The new numbers come as Quebec gets ready to reopen retail stores in regions outside of Montreal, and take down checkpoints in some regions.

Premier Francois Legault has said the situation in the province is largely stable with the exception of long-term care homes and some hospitals, but has promised health officials won't hesitate to delay opening dates if the situation warrants.

With reporting from The Canadian Press.

Sources have said parliamentary activities will resume gradually over several weeks, but will include three question periods by the week of May 25.

In order to ensure proper distancing, a rotation will be put in place so that no more than 40 people can be present at once.

In a statement, the province said those previous cases originated mostly from the Montreal, Laval and Monteregie areas, and were not counted due to a technical problem.

Quebec has 31,865 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 2,205 people have died.

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