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COVID-19: Confusion, frustration in Montreal area as people prepare for second 8 p.m. curfew

Click to play video: 'Return of 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew in Montreal met with confusion and consternation' Return of 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew in Montreal met with confusion and consternation
WATCH: Return of 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew in Montreal, Laval met with confusion and consternation – Apr 9, 2021

Everyone has an opinion on the new 8 p.m. curfew coming to Montreal and Laval Sunday night. Some are angry, some don’t mind, and others accuse the government of forgetting those it will affect the most.

There is also a lot of confusion.

On a beautiful spring day in Laurier Park in the Plateau Mont-Royal, many Montrealers were soaking up the sun and warmth. As of Sunday, they’ll have to enjoy the nice weather from their homes as of 8 p.m.

“It’s a shot to the morale,” said Plateau resident Vince Rodi. “To make us think COVID will take a break as of 8:00 is nonsensical.”

“I understand why we have a curfew, I’m just kind of tired of it,” said Shant Temisjian.

Read more: Quebec extends lockdown in COVID-19 hot spots, brings back 8 p.m. curfew for Montreal, Laval

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On a reddit thread about the new curfew hours, hundreds of comments denounced the change, but some are on board.

“If it was May or June, it would be bad, but if it doesn’t last too long it’s okay,” said Gregory Therrien.

Mayor Plante took to Facebook Friday morning to address frustration about the new curfew.

“I understand, because we’ve reached the end of our rope,” she said in a video. Plante said she understands people are frustrated, and that the 8 p.m. curfew is difficult, but she prefers it to a complete lockdown.

While some were thinking about how they’ll deal with the new curfew, off the island others were in a state of confusion.

“To tell you the truth, we had a lot of citizens in Longueil and in my district of Greenfield Park that were very confused,” said Longueuil city councillor Wade Wilson.

He said many people living on the south shore had become accustomed to their COVID rules being the same as those in Montreal. People in Longueuil assumed their curfew was also going to 8 p.m.

Montérégie Public Health posted to its Facebook page Friday morning clarifying the region’s curfew would be staying at 9:30 p.m.

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Read more: As sunnier evenings lie ahead, Quebec premier mulls relaxing COVID-19 curfew (March 15, 2021)

Guy Pilon, the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion, which is also in Montérégie, said initially his city leadership was unclear if the earlier curfew applied there.

“We checked with the people in charge of the public health, and even then they were not sure,” he said.

A Quebec Health Ministry spokesperson explained to Global News the most densely-populated areas of the province are being targeted by the new measure, meaning Montérégie is excluded for now.

“Personally, I feel it’ll probably be within another week or so that the Montérégie region will also be reduced back down to 8:00,” said Wilson.

Pilon is happy that his city is no longer being lumped in with Montreal.

“I’m very, very happy they are more pinpointed,” he said.

Meanwhile, housing advocates worry the 8 p.m. curfew will be hardest for those with no outdoor space at their homes.

“We are really concerned about the plight of poorly housed people living in overcrowded housing,” said Véronique Laflamme, a spokesperson for FRAPRU.

She said people living in basement apartments will suffer much more than people with back yards in the suburbs, and that often low-income essential workers are the ones living in difficult housing situations.

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The curfew change has no planned end date.

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