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Quebec Deputy Premier and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault speaks at a news conference in Quebec City, on Jan. 7, 2021.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s government is rejecting calls from the Opposition for police checkpoints limiting travel between regions when some COVID-19 health orders are relaxed next week.

About 90 per cent of Quebec’s population will remain under the highest pandemic-alert level when restrictions are eased on Monday, but six, less-populated regions will be reopened considerably more.

The Opposition Liberals said today residents from red zones should be blocked from visiting orange zones, such as the Gaspe peninsula or the Saguenay region, to eat at restaurants or to watch movies in cinemas.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault, however, said today that police have their hands full keeping tabs on returning travellers in quarantine and monitoring whether people are following the provincewide nighttime curfew.

Non-essential stores and personal care salons will reopen Monday in big cities such as Montreal and Quebec City, but restaurants, gyms and other entertainment venues will stay closed – unlike in the six regions.

Quebec reported 1,053 new COVID-19 infections today and 37 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including nine in the previous 24 hours. They say hospitalizations dropped by four, to 1,106, and 177 people were in intensive care, a drop of one.

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