Quebec gets the green light to reopen businesses and daycare centers in Montreal as planned in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Quebec will allow some retail stores and businesses to reopen in the greater Montreal area on May 25 when the province recorded its lowest number of deaths from the new coronavirus pandemic in more than a month.

Prime Minister François Legault confirmed the decision on Monday, saying public health conditions were in place for the government to continue its plan after the initial opening date had to be postponed.

“I am really pleased to announce today that we have the green light to open retail businesses in the Montreal area in a week as planned,” he said.

Montreal daycares will also be allowed to open on June 1, but Legault said it will be a gradual process and that the facilities will not operate at full capacity at first.

“Parents should know that there are not enough places for each child,” he said.

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Quebec recorded 34 new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday – the smallest increase in deaths in the province since mid-April, according to Legault. The death toll is 3,596.

There are 43,627 cases on Monday, an increase of 707 from the previous day.

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Despite the easing of restrictions in Greater Montreal, Legault said it is important that people respect social distancing measures.

“I also want to ask Quebecers to be very careful,” said Legault. “If we don’t want to go back and slow the reopening, we have to follow public health instructions. “

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The Prime Minister also encouraged the public to wear a mask when leaving the house to limit the spread of COVID-19, although it is not mandatory.

In Quebec, more checkpoints were also lifted on Monday. Traffic controls have ended in Gatineau, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Charlevoix.

However, public health officials still ask people to travel from one region to another only when necessary.

Health system sees more workers return, surgeries resume

After advocating for thousands of non-quarantined healthcare workers to return to work, Legault said 608 of them did so over the weekend.

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In April, he said workers were absent either because they are sick, vulnerable to COVID-19, or are afraid to go to work.

“This is a welcome reinforcement and it will help the employees who are already there,” he said on Monday.

Health Minister Danielle McCann also announced on Monday that non-emergency surgeries suspended during the pandemic could gradually resume.

The recovery will be slower in Montreal, which remains the epicenter of the virus epidemic in Canada. Citing high hospitalization rates, McCann said that surgical procedures would slowly resume in this region but remained optimistic.

“The situation will change,” she said. “We can already see that hospitalizations are decreasing, very slowly, but decreasing.”

About 68,000 procedures have been postponed due to the pandemic, according to McCann.

With files from the Canadian Press

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