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Red alert, Montreal: What's going to happen to with the city's new COVID-19 status

The Quebec government announced that Montreal would shift from orange to red alert status—here's what that means for Montrealers.

By JP Karwacki
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In a press conference on the evening of Monday, September 28, Premier François Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and Quebec's Public Health Director Horacio Arruda announced that three regions of Quebec—Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches—would be shifting to red alert or Level 4 status in the coming days as a response to rising COVID-19 infection numbers in those areas.

According to the Quebec government's website, this status "includes targeted and additional more restrictive measures that could extend to prohibiting non-essential activities in situations where risk cannot be sufficiently contained," but doesn't seek to put the city into a lockdown level similar to March 15. Quebeckers are asked, however, "to avoid unnecessary social contact" like gatherings with family or friends, weddings, funerals, etc.

So stay in the bubble of your own home, and take note of the following restrictions that will go into effect as of midnight Wednesday, September 30:

At home

There will be a ban on home gatherings, with some exceptions like caregivers being allowed to visit. Forget the six or ten-person limits before and assume you can only hang out on the phone or via video chats.

In public

All bars, casinos and taverns will close, and restaurants will close for indoor dining, operating with only takeout and delivery. Public gathering spaces like libraries, museums, and movie theatres will be closed as well, and people in public must remain at least two metres apart from one another while masks will be mandatory. Places of worship and event venues for private and public gatherings—think funerals, weddings, and so forth—will be limited to 25 people.

What stays open?

Businesses like beauty salons, hair salons, barbershops, estheticians and tattoo and body piercing shops will stay open, as well as hotels and retail. Schools will also remain open.

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