Could the health break that Quebec has given itself to reduce COVID-19 contamination as much as possible last longer than expected and the reopening of non-essential businesses postponed?
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As of December 31, the province recorded 2,819 new cases of COVID-19, 22 deaths, and forecasts for hospitalizations in the greater Montreal area may exceed planned capacities within three weeks.
Both among consumers and traders, skepticism about a resumption of activities reigns.
Érik Luksenberg, the colorful owner of the restaurant Chez Éric et le Homard Fou located in Old Montreal, wants to remain closed for a few months in order to benefit from financial aid from the government, while the health crisis lasts.
“We spent the Holidays when normally we make provisions for the months of January and February, we take a little advance, we can pay our expenses with the receipts of November, December, the Holidays and so on. There we have no advance, we really have to stay closed. There I speak for myself. I don’t want to hire everyone, but everything that is touristy, downtown, January, February, it will be interesting to stay closed with the subsidies and to reopen in the spring or at the beginning of March ”, assures Mr. Luksenberg.
Many consumers met by TVA Nouvelles in the streets of the metropolis were also of the opinion that the reopening of non-essential businesses and restaurants is not likely to happen anytime soon, especially with the increase in the number of times.
“It’s not going to reopen on January 11. Personally, I work in the health network, then I think that it is a sacrifice that must be made ”, judges a citizen met in the street.
“I have the impression that it will remain closed again, just because of the announcements, of the cases which increased and the number of deaths”, explains another lady met on Friday.
“We hope, we stay positive,” says another individual.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) wants to see businesses open quickly, but more importantly to provide merchants with the help they need.
The Quebec report of COVID-19 takes a break on Friday and Saturday. The figures and the situation will be available again on Sunday.