Stores Outside Montreal Kick Off Quebec Reopening Next Week
(Bloomberg) — Quebec unveiled the first steps of a gradual restart of its economy, with retailers everywhere except Montreal reopening as early as next week. The province, which accounts for more than half of Canada’s deaths from Covid-19, is letting stores outside of Quebec’s biggest city resume business on May 4 — as long as they have a street entrance, because enclosed shopping centers remain closed. Retailers in Montreal and its suburbs, along with all of the province’s manufacturers, will be allowed to open a week later, the government said Tuesday.
“Our challenge is to gradually restart the economy without restarting the pandemic,” Premier Francois Legault said during a press conference. The government will “analyze the effect” on the outbreak as workers return, he said.
The plan to reopen comes even with the daily death rate still in the dozens, reflecting what Legault describes as “two worlds.” The vast majority of the deceased are seniors living in long-term care facilities, where the virus has spread rapidly. Outside of those, the situation appears under control and lockdown measures are bearing fruit.