Quebec delays reopening of businesses in hard hit Montreal until May 18

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 6, 2020

Monday's grim milestone comes as several provinces across the country are moving to reopen.

Premier François Legault has acknowledged Montreal hospitals are too crowded to allow some businesses to reopen May 11, as planned.

Quebec, which accounts for more than half of Canada's coronavirus cases, including deaths from the illness, is reopening retail stores outside Montreal while those in the greater Montreal area are to reopen on May 11.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was concerned about sending his children back to their Montreal school. Despite this, Legault said coronavirus is "under control".

Healthy residents who live in homes without confirmed COVID-19 cases and are physically able will be allowed to take walks now without supervision, and will be able to go to essential services beginning May 11.

"We are not lowering the epidemic curve", said Drouin.

Legault said the majority of Quebec's 1,772 hospitalized patients are in Montreal, leading to tight situations in some hospitals. "But if we reopen a bit, we need to have a margin, and we don't see this margin today".

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no cases however, with only Nova Scotia announcing 14 more COVID-19 infections on Monday.

On Monday afternoon, Montreal announced it was partnering with the city's transit agency to use buses to create mobile testing units.

"The great majority of hospitalizations caused by coronavirus are now happening in the Montreal region", he said.

The city has opened at least three new testing sites in Montréal-Nord, Saint-Michel and Rivières-des-Prairies, and is aiming to open more in the coming days and weeks.

The city is now asking people who plan to be in situations where they can not observe the two-metre distancing rule to wear a mask.

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