Coronavirus: Quebec to boost police presence during spring break

Officials say police will be present in tourist regions that attract holiday gatherings like parks, skating rinks, areas with a high number of cabins, snowmobile trails and more. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes

The Quebec government announced police forces will be fanning out across the province from the end of February until early March to ensure the public respects COVID-19 restrictions aimed to curb the spread of the virus.

From Feb. 26 to March 7, a “large scale police surveillance operation” is being organized, said Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault on Wednesday during a press conference at the National Assembly.

“Spring break should not be a time to slack off,” Guilbault said.

READ MORE: More contagious COVID-19 variant could become dominant strain in Montreal by March: INSPQ

She said police officers’ mandate will be to ensure people respect the 8 p.m. curfew in the red zones and the 9:30 p.m. curfew in the orange zones, as well as continue to monitor private inside gatherings.

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Guilbault said police will be especially present in tourist regions that attract gatherings, such as parks, skating rinks, areas with a high number of cabins and snowmobile trails.

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Police could also check in on restaurants in the orange zones, where interior dining will be permitted for same-address bubbles starting on Feb. 22.

READ MORE: Quebec loosens some coronavirus restrictions in time for spring break

Guilbault said the province will not be setting up roadblocks between different regions or at the borders of neighbouring provinces, a scenario that was previously being discussed.

Starting Feb. 26, movie theatres will be allowed to reopen in red zones with some restrictions. Procedural masks and social distancing will be mandatory.

Indoor pools and arenas are also being reopened to allow for family activities. Outdoor sports, already permitted in groups of four, will now be allowed for groups of eight people.

–with files from the Canadian Press and Annabelle Olivier, Global News

Click to play video: 'Quebec eases COVID-19 restrictions for spring break'
Quebec eases COVID-19 restrictions for spring break

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