Gatineau businesses prepare for easing of restrictions in Quebec Monday
OTTAWA -- As COVID-19 cases continue to fall in Quebec, the province is set to ease restrictions and reopen some businesses Monday — but the curfew will remain in effect.
The new measures will vary by region. In Gatineau and the Outaouais, non-essential stores, hair salons and personal care services, and museums will be allowed to reopen.
"It’s going to be nice to see real people in person, other than curb-side pickup," said Marc Gagne, owner of clothing store Le Local.
Gagne is preparing to pivot back to in-person shopping after weeks of focusing on online services.
"We're going back to what we were going so, just a very limited amount of customers at a time, and a shortened schedule since we live under curfew, so we won’t have late evening shopping," said Gagne.
The Canadian Museum of History is also getting set to reopen its doors for the first time in weeks.
"It’s both a relief and a great joy to be able to reopen these doors again," said Chantale Amyot from the Canadian Museum of History.
“We’ve had to adjust, we’ve had to make changes, like anybody else, to be able to have this option for our families and visitors it’s fabulous for us.”
The museum will be limiting capacity, remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and is asking visitors to book ahead on its website.
The province is reverting to a colour coded system for COVID-19 restrictions. The Outaouais is one of 10 regions set to remain in the red zone. That means the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will remain in effect, household gatherings are still banned, and outdoor activities are limited to a maximum of four people.
Bars, restaurants, and gyms in red zones will also remain closed.
“It’s a little disappointing considering how well Gatineau and the Outaouais region has been doing. We have a lot of clients depending on the services we provide, making sure we’re here for the community is our number one priority,” said Jeff Christison, owner of Anytime Fitness.
Interprovincial travel still is not recommended and anyone who does cross into Gatineau will have to follow the curfew or risk being fined.
The updated measures will last at least two weeks — before the province says it will reassess.