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Quebec reducing capacity at businesses, bars, restaurants to 50%

Quebec reducing capacity at businesses, bars, restaurants to 50%
/ Emile Nadeau

Quebec health officials added nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. Today’s count is the province’s highest daily increase since January 2, prompting Quebec Premier François Legault to hold a press conference this evening with Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé and National Director of Public Health Horacio Arruda.

Here are the major takeaways from the press conference. 

Because of the record-breaking numbers, "we must act," Legault said as the province announced a goal of reducing capacity at venues by 50 per cent.

"In this fight that we're waging, it's not enough to just get vaccinated," he said.

Legault went on to say that as of Monday 50% capacity limits will return to all businesses including bars and restaurants, as well as places of worship where vaccination passports will now be necessary. He also said that there would be a cap of 250 attendees for places of worship.

The reopening of schools after the holidays will also be delayed, but only for high schools. In-person teaching in high schools will resume on Jan. 10 instead of on Jan. 3. Primary schools will be sticking to their regular schedule.

Christmas gatherings will also be cut in half, from the previously announced 20-person cap to a 10-person cap. However, he is asking people to avoid gathering if they can.

Quebec is also banning office parties, dancing, singing, and karaoke.

"Even 10 people have to be very prudent and just do what is absolutely necessary. There are risks in homes," Legault said.

"First of all, it's important to say that you know, airing out is important -- to open, you know, a window in the house, to have air circulation," he said, "and to be very, very prudent with vulnerable people."

Earlier this evening the Montreal Canadiens announced that no fans are being allowed at tonight’s game, on the recommendation of public health. The team has yet to announce what they will decide for the next game.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been 474,478 total cases and 11,627 deaths in the province. There are 17,400 active cases of COVID-19 in Quebec at the time of writing this.

Quebecers over the age of 60 are now eligible to get their third booster. Dubé says that in January, the age priority will begin to drop for younger citizens.

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