Since the Pontiac Journal’s edition of December 16, Quebec has changed the rules of the pandemic for our region. Basically, the MRC Pontiac has been put into “red”, the highest alert category, effective Thursday, December 17. CISSSO says the red categorization will be in effect until January 11 (or until other information is released).
The province reports that across the Pontiac, all retail shops must close for physical shopping from December 25 to January 11. This means no Boxing Day shopping in person.
Essential stores and services can remain open: groceries, pharmacies, computer repair shops, provincial liquor and cannabis stores, banks and credit unions, hardware and pet supplies — plus dentists, optometrists and other health services. These are all open but on a restricted basis. Closed are hair salons, spas and manicures, gyms, inside restaurants (take-outs are permitted), theatres, museums, and all offices that are non-essential.
On the positive side, Premier Legault is encouraging Quebecers to get outside, be active with winter sports — hockey games, skiing classes, skating etc (all limited to 8 players). Likewise, people living alone are now allowed to join one other family’s bubble (as opposed to the old rule of receiving only one visitor).
With new cases stalled at 1,600 per day, Premier Legault says the second wave’s curve upward needs to be flattened and the province’s hospitals kept open. He warned that Quebec is approaching a serious level of hospital occupancy. (F.R.)