Quebec Premier Legault is extending the current red zone restrictions in Montreal and other regions like it by another four weeks, until November 23.
While "our efforts have paid off", the Premier said, the number of cases in hospitalizations and deaths need to continue to drop.
In a press conference today, Legault highlighted that the province is experiencing as many as 1,000 new cases a day, meaning that until Quebec as a whole can bring down its case counts, current restrictions are going to continue. The announcement comes two days before the planned end to the red zone restrictions on October 28.
He deemed that businesses (referring to retail and other current allowed openings) and schools are the only thing that should remain open at this time.
Things may change after two weeks, however, if there is a "sustained drop" according to Legault. The situation would be revisited in that case, and some restrictions may be lifted.
At the same time, schools will remain open, but will be experiencing certain changes, such as applying a hybrid system where classes for certain levels can be both remote and in-person.
"We (can't) continue having ten new deaths every day," Legault said. "(If) the personal decisions that you make could reduce those deaths by one... your efforts will have been worth it," Legault said, speaking to Quebeckers directly. The premier also stressed that remote work, among employers, should be encouraged and that mental health needs to be addressed.
"Our destiny is linked to one another," Legault said.