The authorities in Quebec, the Canadian province that has suffered the most coronavirus infections, announced on Monday the extension for one week of the closure of commercial establishments.
While the store was allowed to reopen on Monday in the rest of the French-speaking province, Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault decided to delay this measure in Montreal.
The province of Quebec has accumulated more than half of the country’s 3,900 coronavirus deaths. In Montreal, the vast majority of the 66,000 infections have occurred.
The capital of the Franco-Speaking province has become the Canadian epicenter of the epidemic.
«I inform you that for the time being we have decided to postpone the reopening of commercial businesses in the Montreal metropolitan area,» the prime minister told the press. «Instead of May 11, it will be the 18th,» he said.
Legault was wore a new haircut. «Before you ask me the question, I tell you it was my wife Isabelle who cut my hair. So I’ve been respecting confinement guidelines, I just wanted everyone to know,» he added with a smile.
The decision came after health care experts warned of very few hospital beds to cope with a possible influx of COVID-19 patients, which could happen if restrictions were eased, he explained.
Legault said the leeway «remains very narrow» in Montreal, noting that for the same reason it did not snoose the reopening of primary schools and kindergartens, scheduled for May 19.
Quebec is the only one in Canada’s provinces to have decided to reopen its elementary schools by the end of this academic year, in June.
It is also the only region that has allowed retail stores to function again.
The neighboring province of New Brunswick has also not allowed the reopening, although monday marked its sixth day without further cases of coronavirus. The 118 infected people have recovered.