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Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube responds questions at the legislature, in Quebec City, on June 22, 2020.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Quebec’s Health Minister is threatening to lock down bars again if owners and clients don’t follow public-health guidelines designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Christian Dubé made the comments today after what he said were unacceptable events at bars across the province where patrons were allegedly not following physical distancing rules.

Mr. Dubé says the government is considering revoking liquor permits of delinquent bar owners and fining customers who are seen violating public-health directives.

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The minister says that by Thursday he’ll release a list of actions the government will take to penalize what he says is a minority of people threatening the province’s progress in containing the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported three new deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, for a total of 5,577.

The province also reported today 74 more cases of the coronavirus, for a total of 55,937, including 25,378 cases that are considered recovered.

Mr. Dubé said “the events that we saw in the bars over the weekend are not acceptable,” without giving details on specific bars or events.

“We won’t let another weekend go by with the kinds of scenes we saw. … We can only look to the United States to see what’s happening there,” Mr. Dubé said, regarding the increase in cases witnessed in several southern states that reopened bars, restaurants and beaches.

Hospitalizations rose slightly for the first time in more than a week to reach 377, an increase of six. Of those patients, 25 are in intensive care, one less than the prior day.

Public-health authorities conducted 6,122 tests on Saturday, the last day for which numbers are available.

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