COVID-19: Quebec closing shopping malls, schools and restaurant dining rooms until May 1

  • Quebec is closing all stores in shopping malls except for grocery stores, pharmacies and SAQ outlets at least until May 1.
  • Schools will also remain closed at least until May 1. There will be no provincial exams this year.
  • All restaurants must close dining-room service. Take-out service can continue.
  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec increased by 38 to a total of 219.
  • Montreal is opening a drive-thru testing site on Monday. It will be open seven days a week and people can show up by car or on foot without calling 811, if they meet certain criteria (see more below).
  • Starting Monday, Hydro-Québec will not charge late payment fees for those who cannot pay their bills.
  • All playgrounds in Montreal have been closed.
  • Call 1-877-644-4545 if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, instead of 811.

Restaurants, shopping centres and beauty salons have been ordered by the Quebec government to shut their doors by midnight on Sunday, and to stay closed until May 1.

The new regulation is part of the province’s escalating effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants will still be able to operate take-out service. Grocery stores, pharmacies and SAQ outlets will remain open. Stores in shopping centres that have their own entrances don’t have to close, either.

Earlier this weekend, the government announced it had banned most public and private gatherings of more than two people. Police in Montreal and Quebec City have been called to break up several gatherings.

Also on Sunday, the City of Montreal closed all public playgrounds until further notice. Municipalities around the province have taken similar steps.

Public health officials announced there are 219 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec, an increase of 38 from Saturday. Of those, 24 have been hospitalized, 13 of whom are in intensive care.

“As expected, the number of cases continues to grow, but the actions we’re taking since 10 days ago will start to really pay off in the next few days,” Premier François Legault said at the government’s daily news conference.

The death toll in the province has been revived downwards. Though Legault said Saturday there had been five deaths in the province linked to COVID-19, a test has since revealed that one of those fatalities was not caused by the disease.

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