Quebec premier says ‘not a good idea’ to reopen gyms, dining rooms in coronavirus red zones

Quebec will not lift restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus as the province reported 1,138 new cases and 28 more deaths Thursday.

Premier François Legault said that the uptick remains too high to back off on the lockdowns in areas on red alert, but that officials are always working toward finding a balance as the pandemic drags on.

“It’s a balance that’s difficult to find between life, saving lives, and the quality of lives of all Quebecers,” he told reporters.

The announcement comes after Quebec’s opposition parties demanded the government release a document from Montreal’s public health authority calling for gyms, libraries and museums to reopen.

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The document, obtained by Radio-Canada, says maintaining the partial lockdown in the city risks causing serious health issues for the population.

Montreal is currently a designated red zone and Legault said says prudence must be maintained as cases remain high.

“The battle isn’t over yet,” he said.

Most of Quebec has been moved to the highest pandemic-alert level, under which gyms, bars and entertainment venues are closed and gatherings are banned. The restrictions are in place until at least Nov. 23 in Montreal and Quebec City.

“For now, we don’t think it’s a good idea to open restaurants, gyms and venues,” Legault said.

Authorities are, however, looking at possibly allowing one-on-one gatherings between Quebecers, according to Legault.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Quebec Premier Legault says situation better than Europe, but ‘must do better’' 0:50 Coronavirus: Quebec Premier Legault says situation better than Europe, but ‘must do better’

Coronavirus: Quebec Premier Legault says situation better than Europe, but ‘must do better’

With files from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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