April 29, 2020 By PrintAction Staff
In a move that will allow roughly 500,000 people to return to work, Quebec Premier François Legault has announced that most retail stores in the province will be able to reopen on May 4, except in Montreal, which will be a week later.
Quebec’s construction and the manufacturing sectors will be allowed to start reopening May 11. The construction industry will completely reopen starting May 11, while manufacturing companies can resume operations the same day with initial limits on the total number of employees who can work per shift.
“Our challenge is to gradually re-start the economy without re-starting the pandemic,” Legault said, adding that announcements for more sectors to reopen will come over the next few weeks. “The idea is to gradually add workers and analyze the effect on the contagion. But one thing is clear: If we want our plan to work, we need to continue our efforts of physical distancing, and we need to continue to protect the most vulnerable.”
Under Legault’s government’s plan, stores outside Montreal can reopen next May 4 while those in the greater Montreal region will reopen May 11. Stores in shopping malls will remain closed, unless they can be accessed from outside.
Quebec has approximately 25 per cent of Canada’s population but has accounted for half of Canada’s identified COVID-19 cases and nearly 60 per cent of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths so far, with most cases centred in Montreal. But the number of new cases in the province has largely levelled off over the past two weeks, and Quebec health officials believe they’re seeing the peak of the initial wave of infections.
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