The epidemiological situation is under control in Eastern Quebec, where barely two cases were added to the reports of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Côte-Nord, Monday, while none were reported in Gaspé Peninsula.
The day before, no case had been identified in these three regions, a first since the start of the second wave.
Consequently, there are only 18 active cases left in the whole of Eastern Quebec.
These data give arguments to traders in the region who want a relaxation of sanitary measures after February 8.
In particular, certain restaurateurs in Bas-Saint-Laurent wish to be able to reopen their dining rooms. This is the case of the Groupe Experience Resto, which operates the Bon Voyage and 9 Resto Déjeuner restaurants in the region.
“We certainly want to reopen our dining rooms. We are not asking for a complete reopening as before the pandemic, but at least with protective measures, ”confirmed David Voyer, president of Groupe Experience restaurant.
Prime Minister François Legault could announce to Quebecers a reduction in certain measures Tuesday during a press briefing scheduled for 5 p.m.
According to many, the curfew measure, which seems effective in Quebec, will be maintained throughout the province, regardless of the epidemiological situation.
David Voyer is ready to reopen his restaurants even if this measure is still in place. “We would close a little earlier in the evening, but we would be able to make our lunches, dinners, afternoons and cast a little wider net,” he argued.
The businessman maintains that reopening his restaurants would also allow his employees to work.
“It’s really difficult for our employees, we had a few departures. Over eleven months, since March last year, have been closed five months. For the cook staff, the waiters, it is not easy, there are some who have changed careers ”, underlined David Voyer.
On the other hand, other restaurateurs are not ready to reopen at all costs. If the curfew is maintained, many of them do not see how their business could be profitable if they have to close at 7:30 p.m.
The co-owner of the restaurant Chez Germaine, which has a storefront in Rimouski, does not intend to reopen its doors if the curfew remains in place “Our decision is practically made, it is sure that we will remain closed knowing that it is covered. -fire does not allow people to stay late at night, ”said co-owner Frédérique Bélanger.
According to her, reopening her establishment in the dark would not be a good idea. “Reopening a restaurant is a big step, ordering food, drink, restarting everything. As long as we take all these steps to be in a context of uncertainty, we prefer to remain closed for a few more weeks, ”she explained.
The co-owner of Chez Germaine said last fall was particularly difficult. Since she has a start-up business, she does not have access to several assistance programs.
“This fall, at times, we drove at a loss, because we did not have access to subsidies and we were really at the mercy of outbreaks and traffic,” said Ms. Bélanger.