MONTREAL – Restaurant dining rooms will be allowed to reopen in Montreal next week for the first time since the end of September, Quebec Premier François Legault announced Tuesday.
Quebec’s largest city will move on Monday from the red COVID-19 alert level to the lower orange stage, under which gyms can also open, Legault said. It will be joined by its northern suburb of Laval and all other Quebec municipalities still at the red level.
Six other Quebec regions and part of a seventh will see restrictions eased even further on Monday, Legault said, including three regions that will move to the lowest alert level, which allows indoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
However, even in those regions, Legault urged caution. “We have to be very careful with indoor gatherings,” he said.
Legault also called on younger people to vaccinate. “We need you to get back to our normal life,” he said, adding that the sooner young people get vaccinated, the sooner people can have “small parties.”
Earlier Tuesday, Quebec reported 208 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one within the previous 24 hours.
Health officials said hospitalizations dropped by eight, to 354, and 86 people were in intensive care, a drop of three.
The province said 65,917 doses of vaccine were administered since its last report, for a total of 5,648,992. Quebec’s public health institute said 61.3 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Quebec will announce a plan to accelerate second doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday, Legault said.
Montreal reported the highest number of new cases in the province, with 35, followed by the Montérégie region, south of Montreal, with 34.
Meanwhile, the Health Department said Monday evening officials will begin vaccinating temporary foreign workers when they arrive at the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.