Montreal and Laval to go into the orange zone Monday, no more red zones in Quebec

Quebec Premier Francois Legault started laughing as he couldn't contain his excitement after a Habs win in game seven and a lessening of restrictions across the province.

"As of next Monday, Montreal and Laval will be going into the orange zone," he said.

In addition, certain regions will go from orange to yellow, and some will go to the green zone. 

Legault said, however, that everyone should remain vigilant in wearing masks and following other health protocols. 

"We have to progress gradually," he said.

Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and public health director Horacio Arruda addressed the province in a news conference on Tuesday.

Arruda said that it is still not advisable for people to travel from orange zones to other lower-risk zones.

He also said there would likely be a bump in cases after Montreal and Laval opens. 

"It's normal that if there is more contact, there are higher number of cases that can happen," he said.

Legault urged young people to get their first vaccination so that more people can start to book appointments for their second dose.

"The more we are with two doses of vaccine, the sooner we can start our little parties," said Legault. 

Quebec is set to release an updated schedule Thursday for accelerating the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the summer.

Dubé said the schedule will again go by age group, from the oldest to the youngest.

Quebec health officials would like to see some 200,000 people between the ages of 18 and 44 sign up to receive a first dose in the next few days. The government's goal is to vaccinate 75 per cent of the population in each age group by summer’s end. 

Arruda responded to the announcement Monday that high school proms will not be allowed when other events are open such as the 2,500 people admitted to the Montreal Canadiens' hockey game.

"We evaluated the conditions and made recommendations," said Arruda. "It’s different from how people interact while watching a hockey game. Without two doses, it’s too risky."

He added that he hopes to have proms next year but that "this is not the time to lose control."

On the subject of planning for the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border, Legault said he would like to see the deadline pushed back to the end of the summer.

- with files form The Canadian Press

  COVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC
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