Say it ain't so: In a press conference yesterday, November 19, Premier François Legault announced that red zone restrictions in cities and regions as whole in Quebec would continue until January 11, 2021.
The current red zone restrictions were slated to end of November 23, but this announcement preemptively extends that plan.
"There are too many cases," Legault said, following the daily slew of caseloads in the province continuing to often exceed 1,000 per day. "There's still too much pressure on the health network."
This extension of closures affected by the red zone status extends to businesses such as movie theatres, gyms, indoor dining areas for restaurants (instead of only offering takeout and delivery), libraries, museums and other places that involve large gatherings—we tracked everything affected by red zone restrictions here.
"We hope that after (January 11th), we will be able to open them," Legault noted, hinting to how if the caseloads were to decrease in between now and that date.
Meanwhile, Quebec's financial assistance program—where loans for businesses in red zones can receive forgivable loans if they meet certain criteria—has also been extended until January 11 to coincide with the extension of the lockdown.
While the news comes as a worrying concern—if not a death knell—for local businesses, Legault said that he found a "small consolation" in how the measures that burden local businesses here are being found elsewhere in the world. "When we look at the situation throughout the world, we can say two things," he said. "One, there are places that are really worrying. Two, these measures (for) restaurants, gyms, theatres... these are measures that are in place... all over the world."