Quebec Premier François Legault announced on Tuesday that as of June 14, most regions across the province, including the Montérégie, will see restrictions loosened even further as they are downgraded to yellow alert level. “The situation continues to improve in Quebec,” Legault said during a press conference. “Vaccination is going really well, our reopening plan is working, and we can continue.”
Public health measures will be significantly loosened to allow indoor gatherings between residents of two different households, and up to eight people or the residents of two households to gather outdoors, while distancing and wearing masks. Bars and breweries will be able to reopen terrasses as of Friday and will then be able to open at 50 per cent capacity on Monday. Last call will take place at 11 p.m., and all such establishments will have to close by midnight. Organized outdoor sports will be permitted for groups of up to 25 people. League play may resume, but competitions and tournaments remain banned. All members of a household may visit a loved one living in a CHSLD or seniors’ home at once, provided a minimum distance of two metres can be maintained within the room. Outdoor visits will be permitted for up to five people at a time. Up to 50 people may attend a wedding or funeral, and 250 individuals will now be permitted in places of worship. Finally, working from home will no longer be mandatory, however it is still recommended for those who are able to continue to do so.
During the press conference, Legault announced that graduation ceremonies with parents in attendance could take place with restrictions and that outdoor proms would be allowed this year after July 8. Quebec’s director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, explained that the government was able to ease restrictions on proms and graduation ceremonies as teen vaccination rates were increasing and the situation in general across the province was improving considerably.
According to Rob Buttars, the director general of the New Frontiers School Board (NFSB), a total of 77 students from Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR) will be transported by bus to the Ormstown Vaccination Centre to receive their first dose of the vaccine starting this week. Buttars says the schools are reporting that a significant number of parents are opting to take their children to be vaccinated themselves.
At the same time as the administrators at the NFSB and CVR were organizing the vaccination campaign, two classes had to be closed last week as four students in the same circle of friends tested positive for the virus. Buttars confirms that as of Tuesday, no new cases have been identified at the school. He says the NFSB has been working closely with the local public health authority to ensure students who may have been exposed to the virus are isolating and being tested.
The Direction de Santé Publique de la Montérégie (DSPM) announced on Monday that students would no longer be required to wear face masks while seated in class. The measure was eased in response to the heatwave, which started over the weekend, but will remain in place once the temperature breaks on Wednesday and for the remainder of the school year.