The return of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to the orange zone has allowed non-essential businesses to resume their activities. Restaurant owners are also among the traders who can once again welcome customers under certain conditions.
The team at the Café Mont-Royal restaurant in Chicoutimi welcomed, with the greatest of happiness, its first customers Monday morning.
«It’s been over three months since we were closed, anyway. I just hope we will reopen and stay open. To close a third time would be something. Morale is not that bad. Financially, we’re starting over», Testifies the co-owner, Louise Lalancette.
Ms. Lalancette did not expect such a rapid reopening in the restaurant business, believing that it would be in March. She still welcomed the government’s announcement.
Video: Quebec gives the green light to stores, hair salons and museums (Le Devoir)
Click here to enlarge
Sanitary measures: $ 1.3 million in fines for violators in two weeks
Nearly 850 tickets with fines totaling approximately $ 1.3 million have been served for violation of the Public Health Act in the past two weeks in Quebec, according to the Department of Justice. The police handed over 782 “portable reports” after having observed most of the time a violation of the curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the ban on private indoor or outdoor gatherings, or even the obligation to wear covers. -face. They have submitted dozens of general infringement reports (SORs) to report other violations of decrees and ministerial orders adopted by the Quebec government to slow the progression of COVID-19 in Quebec. In the end, 65 “long statements” were served from January 16 to 31 – to 63 individuals and two legal entities – according to the Ministry of Justice. Since the start of the pandemic, law enforcement has issued no less than 5,027 findings for breach of the Public Health Act ($ 7.4 million). Nearly 40% of them were distributed in the judicial district of Montreal ($ 2.9 million), where COVID-19 is giving the health network a hard time. The judicial districts of Quebec and Terrebonne follow with respectively 382 “portable statements” or “long statements” ($ 560,225) and 302 “portable statements” or “long statements” ($ 433,906) distributed.
Suspension of flights to the south: Ottawa targets foreign companies too
Foreign airlines will not have an advantage over their Canadian competitors. Ottawa is also negotiating with them to suspend their flights to sun destinations, Le Devoir has learned. Ottawa has already concluded an agreement with the Mexican company Aeromexico. The latter, which with 10 flights per week between Canada and Mexico is one of the most important for this route, has agreed to interrupt its service as of next week. Ottawa is also in negotiations with Caribbean Airlines, but the latter only offers one flight per week to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Finally, discussions are underway with American airlines. But it is noted behind the scenes in Ottawa that US law prohibits an airline from offering a service between Canada and the Caribbean without a stopover in the United States. Canadian travelers who choose this option to bypass the Ottawa tightening should therefore comply with the requirements for entry into the United States, in particular to have a negative result for a COVID test. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that Canada’s four major airlines (Air Canada, Air Transat, WestJet and Sunwing) have agreed to suspend flights to Mexico and the Caribbean to discourage foreign travel during this second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Bloc Québécois deplored over the weekend that a gaping flaw remains: “There is not much that has changed for those who absolutely want to go to the South,” wrote MP Xavier Barsalou. -Duval in a press release. It is still quite possible to go to sunbathe in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Punta Cana. You just have to buy tickets from United Airlines or Delta instead of Canadian airlines. The suspension of flights began on Sunday. As for the obligation on returning from a trip to be placed in monitored quarantine in hotels designated by the government, it will begin shortly. But not this Thursday, as the Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, first suggested on CBC at the weekend. The Minister’s team explains that it is only the obligation for all international flights to pass through one of the four designated airports (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary) that will come into force on Thursday. The supervised quarantine will not begin immediately, as the details are not yet finalized. Travelers arriving at these four airports will therefore still be able to take their connecting flight to reach their final destination. When the supervised quarantine comes into effect, they will have to stay in these towns before continuing their journey.
Reduction of health measures in sight in Quebec
Encouraged by the decrease in new cases of COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations, Quebec should announce an easing of health measures on Tuesday, including the possible reopening of non-essential businesses. A decision supported by public health experts, provided that the release is done gradually and by regions, according to their health situation. The contaminations curve has been declining for two weeks, hovering around 1,200 to 1,300 new daily cases. A level that had not been known since the end of November when the businesses were still open and the curfew non-existent. What make some dream of lifting restrictions. In a Facebook message, the Prime Minister, François Legault, nourished this hope on Saturday by expressing his desire to “be able to relax certain rules” after February 8. “I would like, if the situation allows it, to be able to give a little oxygen to our traders,” he said. He is due to make an announcement on this subject Tuesday at 5 p.m. in one of his traditional live press briefings. Mr. Legault had however warned Quebeckers Thursday that the majority of health restrictions would remain in place after February 8, in particular the curfew which “succeeds in reaching a clientele which was perhaps difficult to convince in the houses”. The reopening of non-essential businesses, closed since December 25, however, seems well in the government’s plans. “When we look at today’s figures, there are no new cases in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie or on the North Shore. We could consider a relaxation of measures in these regions which are suffering from the more worrying situation elsewhere, ”notes Roxane Borgès Da Silva, professor at the School of Public Health at UdeM.
«We are used to being in the public. I think customers will be happy to see us too», She indicates.
Like many other restaurants, Café Mont-Royal must reopen with two fewer employees. The forced break due to COVID-19 is the cause of many departures and reorientation in the community.
Based on information from Louis Martineau