Quebec to impose 8 p.m. provincewide curfew until Feb. 8

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Quebec Premier Francois Legault is imposing a provincewide 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew beginning Saturday and for the next four weeks as a way to halt surging COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Legault said today he wants to give Quebecers an ``electroshock'' regarding the critical situation in the province's hospitals, which he said are overburdened with COVID-19 patients.

Quebec will become the first in the country to impose such a drastic measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Legault says anyone found on the street after 8 p.m. without good reason would be subject to a fine of between $1,000 and $6,000.

The premier says all non-essential businesses that he ordered closed in December will remain closed until at least Feb. 8, when the curfew is scheduled to be lifted.

Legault, however, said primary schools will open as scheduled, on Jan. 11, and high schools students will return to in-person learning the week after, on Jan. 18.