GATINEAU, QUE. -- The Quebec government is extending lockdown orders in Gatineau for at least another week and applying them to the entire Outaouais region.

Premier Francois Legault announced Tuesday that schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed, the nighttime curfew will be at 8 p.m., and that the restrictions would apply to the entire Outaouais region starting Wednesday.

The measures will be in place until at least April 25. The lockdown in Gatineau was previously set to expire April 18, having been extended once already from its initial expiry date of April 12.

Lockdown restrictions and the 8 p.m. curfew were previously in place only in the city of Gatineau and not the remainder of the western Quebec region, where the nightly curfew begins at 9:30 p.m.

The Outaouais region saw a record-setting 290 COVID-19 cases on Monday, and the area reported another 245 cases on Tuesday.

"The situation is serious and could continue to worsen," Legault told reporters in Quebec City. "The situation is fragile everywhere in Quebec. With the variant, no region is immune."

The local public health unit is asking the population to make a collective effort to help reduce transmission of the virus.

"The situation with COVID-19 is difficult and the virus is spreading rapidly in the region. Respecting the measures remains our best short-term tool to get out of the critical situation in which our region finds itself, until enough people are vaccinated," the CISSS de l'Outaouais said in a release Tuesday.

Special emergency measures in effect

  • Curfew in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m;
  • Elementary and high schools are closed (e-learning);
  • School-based child care remains open, but only for essential workers;
  • Educational child care services (daycares, CPEs, family environments) will remain open. However, to limit contact, families are advised to keep their children at home whenever possible, notifying the daycare service in advance;
  • The closing of cinemas, theaters and museums;
  • The closing of restaurants (except for delivery and take-out);
  • The closing of non-essential businesses (delivery and curbside pick-up are possible);
  • Businesses are not allowed to sell non-essential products;
  • A limit of 25 people in places of worship;
  • The closure of indoor sports and recreation facilities, including gyms;
  • Outdoor sports or recreational activities permitted only with people residing at the same address or by a group of 8 people with distance. Masks must be worn in any group of 2 or more people who do not reside at the same address, unless the people remain seated at a 2 m distance from each other.

--With files from The Canadian Press.