Premier Legault Postpones Announcement of New Lockdown, Nightly Curfew

Premier Legault Postpones Announcement of New Lockdown, Nightly Curfew
Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to a question during a news conference in Montreal, Canada, on Dec. 22, 2020. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Andrew Chen

Quebeckers who have been anxiously waiting for updates of a new lockdown to be released Tuesday have to wait until Wednesday, as Premier François Legault postponed his press briefing.

The province announced on Monday that Legault will hold a rare 5 p.m. press conference on Tuesday. But a second announcement came a few hours later to postpone the public briefing to Wednesday.

Legault will speak about the new restrictions, which take effect Saturday and will last for three to four weeks, according to La Presse, a French-language newspaper in Montreal.

La Presse said the premier's announcement was suspended due to the complexity of implementing a “total” lockdown in schools, offices, businesses, and construction. Legault will meet with opposition leaders in the National Assembly, and also discuss the terms with Public Security on Tuesday.

According to the sources from the La Presse, the public health directorate is also supportive of a curfew to be imposed nightly. The specific duration is still under debate, but could start from around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. until the following morning.

The report said similar confinements implemented in other countries have encouraged Quebec to accelerate the process. On Jan. 4, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented the latest nation-wide lockdown. On Jan. 2, France launched a more stringent curfew from 6 p.m. on top of the 8 p.m. curfew that had been in place since Dec. 15, 2020.

On Jan. 5, Quebec has reported 2,508 new cases of COVID-19 and 62 more related deaths. Health officials said 1,317 are hospitalized with 194 people in intensive care, reported the Canadian Press.