Legault announces re-closure of gyms and addresses the likelihood of students returning to campus full-time

“We will do so when it is safe,” Legault says about full-time in-person learning

Legault said the month of April “will be critical” and the government “will not hesitate” to reinstate stricter measures such as 8 p.m. curfew if cases go up, in reaction to the worsening situation in Ontario. Photo Ivan de Jacquelin

“Starting this coming Thursday, we’ll limit indoors sports, gyms will be closed and places of worship will be limited to a maximum of 25 people in all red zones,” announced Quebec’s Premier François Legault yesterday.

He said these measures are being reinstated in prevention of a potential rise of cases in the Greater Montreal area, he said it is only “a question of days, maybe weeks” until we see a rise of cases comparable to the situation happening in Ontario, which headed back into lockdown.

The premier said he is conscious that the constant change of rules may seem indecisive to some people, but he affirmed he wants to give Quebecers as much freedom as possible considering the changing health situation. According to him, doing so is only possible by adjusting the rules frequently as the numbers evolve.

“We’re adding these restrictions to be more careful, but the most important thing is to follow the rules and especially avoid gatherings in homes,” he said. “At this time we’re able to manage the increase in hospitalizations but that can change very quickly so we have to stay very careful.”

Legault reminded the younger population that new variants can badly affect people from all ages, and they are to be taken seriously. He mentioned that since the curfew was moved to 9:30 p.m., police officers have ticketed triple the amount of people than before for illegal indoor gatherings. Dr. Horacio Arruda, province’s director of public health, urged people who have been careless not to wait for symptoms to get worse and to get tested immediately if they have any doubts.

When asked by The Link about when students could expect to return to campus full-time, Legault replied that as important as it is to him that classes go back to in-person teaching, public health institutions say that for the moment, it’s not a good move.

“For now we’re following public health guidelines, but I am very aware that for the youth, for their education, motivation and mental health, we urgently need to resume in-person classes. We will do so when it is safe. For the good of the students, I cannot wait for in-person classes to resume.” Legault also said he will do everything he can for that to be possible in the fall.