A COVID-19 March Break in Quebec

OTTAWA — Students in Ontario have had their March Break delayed until April in a bid to quell any potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

In Quebec, students and families are wrapping up the week of vacation, and despite the COVID-19 restrictions, many are making the most of their time off.

The Quebec break is a popular time for travel. For Mithis Neumann and his family, they would typically be somewhere abroad for a week’s vacation.

Leaving the country is not possible this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, so instead they will travel through time at the Canadian Museum of History.

“Last year was the Caribbean, the year before Asia,” says Neumann. “It’s a different approach to the vacation we usually take but it’s interesting.”

Neumann says they plan to visit a second museum then head out for dinner, adding that it has not been busy and the family feels there is little chance of contracting COVID.

In February, ahead of Québec’s March Break, Premier Francois Legault lifted some restrictions in areas like the Outaouais region, which allows for indoor dining to resume as well as open some non-essential businesses like theatres and swimming pools.

Still, Quebec police are out in full force to make sure that COVID safety protocols are being followed.

One mandate will be to enforce the curfew in place across the province whether from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in red zones or starting at 9:30 p.m. in orange zones.

The Quebec March Break is traditionally not one of the busiest weeks at Camp Fortune ski hill, but assistant director Erin Boucher says there has been an uptick in sales this year.

“Yesterday we probably sold three times more tickets than we usually do,” says Boucher. “Lucky for us, unfortunate for our customers, there’s not a lot to do other than skiing.”

For Richard Matte and his family, who are spending the day at the ski hill, they would normally spend this week at a rented cottage in the Laurentians. But the area it’s still in lockdown.

“It’s not an ordinary March Break,” says Matte. “We travelled from Montreal, down to the altar way and we’re doing one day of ski.”

Followed by a night at a hotel.

Montreal is in a red zone and while travel is not recommended, the rules are not enforced.

Quebec students return to class on March 8.

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