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All bars will be ordered to close down after midnight in Quebec as part of an effort to reduce the spread of a second wave of COVID-19. In addition to that, the province will also make wearing face masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces, according to the Montreal Gazette.
Wearing masks in all indoor public spaces will come into effect June 20. The announcement is expected to be made Thursday morning in Montreal at a press conference where Horacio Arruda, Quebec's public health director will be speaking.
Bars will be shut down at midnight beginning this weekend, and any customers attending those establishments before the cut-off period will be required to register their names upon entry so that they can be traced if another outbreak occurs.
Physical distancing measures will apply up until the cut-ff period, meaning dance floors are forbidden and bars cannot accept over 50 percent of their regular capacity.
The Corporation des propriétaires de bars, brasseries et tavernes du Québec (CPBBTQ) is angry with Quebec Premier Francois Legault, whom they claim lied to them about supporting them through the pandemic.
“This government has lied to us from the very beginning of this crisis, promising to respect our industry and to help us financially, especially when it came to establishing fair measures for all bar owners,” said Renaud Poulin, director of the CPBBTQ.
Poulin said the province's recent decision to close down the bars will “push the owners of hundreds of bars into bankruptcy.”
Pierre Thibault, of the Nouvelle Association des Bars du Québec (NABQ), is also frustrated at the fact that bars haven't been able to operate since March 15 and had only just begun to resume business before being shut down again. Thibault is no turning to Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec's Minster of Economic Development for help, asking that he intervene with the latest decision.
“It’s simply not possible to tell businesspeople that they won’t help them,” said Thibault. “When it comes to the automobile or aerospace sector, there’s always compensation, but when it comes to bars we’re never taken seriously.”
The bar industry in Quebec represents 2,000 establishments and employs over 25,000 people and many are now left feeling abandoned by the government. Thibault supports the existing health regulations and wishes to stay open and abide by them.