More businesses to reopen Friday as Quebec COVID-19 restrictions relaxed ahead of spring break

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Coronavirus: How Quebec is slowly starting to open up
WATCH: Swimming, indoor skating and going to the movies are all opening up on Friday, just in time for March break. It’s great news for those who can open their doors, but businesses forced to stay closed are crying foul. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Feb 23, 2021

Swimming enthusiasts have a lot to celebrate this upcoming Friday.

All indoor pools are permitted to re-open with strict COVID-19 restrictions in place. Only recreational swimming with family members from the same household is allowed. Solo training and private lessons have also been given the go-ahead.

“It definitely seems there is a lot of interest and a lot of enthusiasm for getting back into the pool,” Adam Di Fulvio, the CEO of The Montreal Institute of Swimming, told Global News.

Limited use of the locker rooms and capacity limitations are also in place.

“Last I checked it was seven square meters per individual. So if you have a fifty square meter pool, you’re allowed a maximum of seven people,” Di Fulvio said.

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Indoor ice rinks and movie cinemas are also allowed to resume operations. Once again, government-established rules need to be followed.

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Cinema operators are not allowed to sell food or beverages, the 8 p.m. curfew remains enforced and surgical masks must be worn at all times.

The operator of Cineplex is relieved to reopen.

“We’ve been working so hard to reopen our theatres. We’re looking forward to open to the public once again on Friday,” Daniel Séguin, Cineplex senior VP of operations, told Global News.

But Guzzo Cinemas will not open. The executive director told Global News it’s not financially viable given the restrictions.

“We operated under similar conditions in July and we lost more money than if we had stayed closed,” Vincenzo Guzzo, Cinema Guzzo Executive Director, told Global News.

One business that will continue to take a hit: indoor tennis.

Clubs are still not permitted to re-open with the exception of in-school programs.

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“A tennis court is one of the safest areas where you can do sport — especially when we were open for only two people on the court. So we really are very, very disappointed,” Robby Ménard, the high performance dector at Club Tennis 13, told Global News.

Restaurants and bars also remain shuttered.

Quebec Premier François Legault says he will reconsider the reopening of other businesses in the near future but not before the school spring break scheduled for the first week in March.

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