Quebec’s 10 p.m. curfew will be lifted on Monday

MONTREAL – A 10 p.m. curfew will not take effect in Quebec starting Monday, January 17, as officials expect explosives in Omicron province to peak. The Prime Minister also expressed hope that restaurants and other venues would be able to open in the coming weeks.

“Experts tell us new cases have peaked,” Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced during a Thursday press conference on the reopening of schools.

This means that the measures we have taken have worked.”

Legault’s government announced a 10pm-5am curfew the day before New Year’s Eve, leaving many by surprise before the holiday.

The county also closed bars, gyms and indoor dining in restaurants as part of a raft of new measures in response to the massive surge in hospitalizations during the fifth wave of the pandemic. Those measures were not lifted.

Legault said he hopes restaurants and other venues will open in the coming weeks.

The county announced the lifting of some measures, such as closing non-essential stores on Sunday, which will expire in time on January 23. Non-essential stores will remain closed on Sunday as planned.

The prime minister said more stores, however, would be required to enforce the vaccine passport. Companies over 1,500 square feet will be subject to the vaccine passport. The new measure will not apply to pharmacies and grocery stores.

“About 10 days ago, there was a massive increase in infections,” said Legault, who is facing questions about the government’s handling of the pandemic.

“We took extraordinary measures, and after 10 days, we have better control of the infection, and the increase has stabilized.”

Daily case loads were largely opaque after new measures restricting PCR tests to select high-risk groups earlier in January.

Positive rates, however, have slowed considerably. On Thursday, the county’s positivity rate was just shy of 16 percent, about half of what was recorded just a week ago, when the rate was above 30 percent.

However, hospitalizations have grown exponentially due to the explosive Omicron wave in Quebec, and it is likely that the worst is yet to come, the prime minister said.

“We have to remain very careful. The number of hospitalizations is still very high, and may continue to increase over the next few days,” he said, predicting that hospitals may see the highest rates of admissions at the end of this week.

– This is a breaking news story. More details to come.

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