Coronavirus Canada Updates: Quebec is mulling a province-wide COVID-19 curfew

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The Quebec government is talking to public health authorities about whether it would be worthwhile to impose an overnight curfew as the local COVID-19 situation spirals out of control.

Premier François Legault has a press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday. If a decision is announced about a curfew, it would make Quebec the first province in Canada to impose such a measure.

According to a La Presse report, the province is also consulting with police agencies, as well as health authorities, before finalizing a plan.

Curfews are drastic, and relatively rare in the history of public health, but more and more places have used them in recent months to battle surging COVID-19 cases, including Australia, Paris, California, New York State and Ohio.

Quebec isn’t the first Canadian province to consider the idea — Ontario did so in late fall as its health-care system became overloaded.

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister also said he was seriously looking at a province-wide curfew in early November, when Manitoba had the country’s worst COVID caseload.

However, a Quebec curfew wouldn’t be a complete first in Canada or even in Quebec: some smaller jurisdictions reached that milestone last spring, when hamlets in Nunavik, in Quebec’s far north, were put under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew with their first COVID-19 cases.

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