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Photograph: Josh Hild / Unsplash

Montreal's lockdown has been expanded with a month-long "shock therapy" curfew this Saturday

In a press conference from the Quebec government this evening, Premier François Legault confirmed a second, stricter lockdown for the province.

By
JP Karwacki
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As of Saturday, January 9 and lasting until February 8, Montreal and the rest of the province of Quebec will be introduced to a curfew that will begin at 8pm every night and stay in place until 5am the next day. It's to be a type of "shock therapy" for the population of Quebec, Premier Legault said, in order to stem the province's experience with the pandemic. 

If people are outside after 8pm without a legitimate reason—the specifics of which are expected to be given by Geneviève Guilbault, Quebec's Deputy Premier, tomorrow—they could be fined anywhere between $1,000 and $6,000.

"We've seen an increase in the number of cases, in the number of hospitalizations, the death toll is increasing," Quebec Premier François Legault said as he began his press conference before pointing to family gatherings over the holidays as one of the key sources for rising numbers across the board.

When is the curfew and how does affect businesses in Montreal?

As aforementioned, the curfew begins at 8pm and lasts until 5am the next day.

Shops that have been deemed essential, such as grocery stores, will be asked to close at 7:30pm at the latest in order to allow employees time to get home. An exception is being made for pharmacies and gas stations.

There wasn't any mention during the conference of whether the Quebec's list of essential businesses and previously permitted activities would be affected; it appears the curfew is the main focus.

People are expected to work from home where possible, contacts at home must be reduced further, and funerals will be given the maximum capacity for a maximum of 10 people (down from 25 people previously).

Can we go outdoors during the next month?

You can go outside and even participate in sports, but not in groups, only within the bubble of your family. Legault offered ski hills as an example, where activities like group classes are no longer permitted. Going out for a walk, for example, is perfectly possible.

Outdoor gatherings will continue to not be allowed.

"I wish, by the end of the year, to see our friends and our families," the Premier said. "We are talking about saving lives, and we’re talking about saving our healthcare system."

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