Quebec’s new overnight curfew won’t apply to Nunavik
But Nunavimmiut travellers to the south must adhere to new restrictions
(Updated at 1:00 p.m.)
The Quebec government will impose stricter measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including an overnight curfew and the closure of all non-essential businesses.
But the new measures won’t apply to Nunavik, the province said.
On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault announced a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., with fines between $1,000 and 6,000 for those who don’t comply. The curfew will be enforced from Jan. 9 to Feb. 8 and applies to Quebeckers from all other regions, apart from essential workers.
The new measures won’t apply to the James Bay Eeyou Itschee region nor to Nunavik, where there are currently just two active but unrelated cases of COVID-19.
The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said that officials are evaluating the need for changes to the current measures in place across the region, and may announce new restrictions in the weeks to come, the board said in a Jan. 7 release.
In the meantime, the health board said it “strongly discourages” any non-essential travel to and from the region.
Regional organizations are warning Nunavimmiut who travel south that they will be subject to those restrictions elsewhere in the province.
Air Inuit said that its flights to and from the region will continue to operate without change.
“For any traveller arriving in Montreal, be aware that a curfew is applicable from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day and that you should proceed to your lodging destination directly from the airport,” the airline said in a Jan. 7 notice.
“Keep your boarding pass as proof that you are in transit from the airport.”
Regional authorities imposed a curfew on Nunavik in the early weeks of the pandemic, as well as limits to alcohol sales, following the region’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 29.
That curfew was initially in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in all 14 communities, but was gradually eased through the spring and then lifted in mid-June.
Nunavik police noted a drop in police interventions and detentions over that period.
The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services says the region should see its first vaccinations by February, and possibly sooner.
The health board has confirmed that Nunavik will receive the Moderna vaccine, though officials are still working out the details of the rollout in the region.