Quebec to cover 80% of expenses for restaurants, bars ordered to close under coronavirus lockdown

Quebec is rolling out new financial measures to help businesses ordered to close in three regions under a partial lockdown to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus.

Premier François Legault and Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon announced Thursday that the government will cover 80 per cent of expenses such as rent and electricity for shuttered bars and restaurants in October.

“We wish to say to all those business owners and their employees that we are thinking of them,” Fitzgibbon said.

The financial aid comes as tighter controls begin for a 28-day period in the Greater Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

READ MORE: What’s allowed and what’s not in Quebec’s coronavirus red zones

Quebec topped 75,000 cases as the province reported 933 new infections Thursday, one of the highest daily tallies in months.

“The situation is critical,” Legault said, adding it’s important for citizens to abide by public health measures.

There are 16 additional deaths linked to COVID-19. The health crisis has killed 5,850 Quebecers to date.

Health authorities say two people died within the last 24 hours. The 14 other deaths occurred throughout the month of September.

The uptick in hospitalizations also continued, with 13 more patients than the previous day. There are 275 people in hospital. Of those patients, there is an increase of three for a total of 46 in intensive care.

The province conducted 33,510 tests on Tuesday.

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

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