Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A nurse welcomes a man at a COVID-19 testing clinic, in Montreal, on Nov. 9, 2020.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

The partial lockdown across most of Quebec is helping to reduce COVID-19 transmission and is unlikely to be lifted before Christmas, Premier Francois Legault said Tuesday.

The restrictions – which have shut bars, restaurant dining rooms, museums and gyms – came into effect in Montreal and Quebec City on Oct. 1 and have since been expanded to cover much of the province. Most indoor and outdoor gatherings are also banned.

Originally set to last for 28 days, the restrictions across so-called “red zones” were extended last month until at least Nov. 23. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Legault said any changes to the rules next week will be minor.

Story continues below advertisement

“The measures that are in place appear to be working,” Legault told reporters. “Usually, when something is working, you don’t change it. If we are able to keep the same measures between Nov. 23 and the holidays, that will help us have a better holiday season.”

Asked if the restrictions would likely continue to apply to restaurants, Legault said they would. The government is still deciding whether to relax restrictions for Christmas; the premier said the rules will be announced in the coming days.

Parties of 25 or 50 people won’t be allowed, he said, adding that the government is still trying to determine how many people can gather without starting another wave of COVID-19. “We want an adapted and healthy Christmas with our families,” he said.

Schools will likely be closed for one or two weeks after the regular two-week holiday break, Legault said, as a way to keep kids relatively isolated before they return inside school buildings. Public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda said the strategy will make it easier to isolate cases and track contacts if transmission occurs during holiday gatherings.

Dr. Joan Robinson, professor at the University of Alberta who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases, said she’s not sure closing schools in January makes sense.

“We have to keep in mind, we’re not doing it to benefit the children themselves, we’re doing it to benefit the adults,” she said. “You’re doing it so adults can have more socializing over the Christmas period.”

While children can get COVID-19 and spread it to each other and to adults, very few children are severely affected by the disease, Robinson said, adding that it might make more sense to avoid Christmas gatherings. It’s not natural for people to stay two metres apart and wear masks when they visit each other, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Whenever food is served, people all touch common surfaces,” Robinson explained. Serving spoons can be particularly dangerous, she added, because they could be touched by everyone at a party and people don’t usually wash their hands after serving themselves and before eating.

Dr. Christos Karatzios, an pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, said kids benefit from seeing each other at school but there are risks they could bring home the virus.

Karatzios said he doesn’t think closing schools is a bad decision to make and if they are closed, he said, that presents an opportunity to make the buildings safer. Children five years and older should be wearing masks at all times during school hours, he said, adding that schools should be keep windows and doors open and consider buying air purifiers.

Quebec reported a drop in new COVID-19 infections but also a significant rise in hospitalizations tied to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. Health officials reported 982 infections – the first time since Nov. 2 the daily count was below 1,000.

Authorities also reported 24 more deaths attributed to the virus, five of which occurred in the previous 24 hours. The province said hospitalizations jumped by 47 compared with the prior day, to 638, and 100 people were in intensive care, a rise of 13.

Authorities said 1,328 more people had recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 107,326 recoveries since the pandemic began. Quebec has reported a total of 126,054 infections and 6,675 deaths linked to the virus.

Story continues below advertisement

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dr. Theresa Tam say COVID-19 is on a runaway rise in most of the country as the seasons for both holidays and colds and flu approach. They say strict public health rules might help but nothing is more important than following those rules and being extra cautious about spreading contagion — especially if people hope to have any sort of gatherings at Christmas. The Canadian Press

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies