Quebec officials announced Monday that they are taking the drastic step of throwing the province into a lockdown amid an explosion of Omicron cases.
“The situation is critical. The explosion of cases is overwhelming,” Health Minister Christian Dubé said at a press briefing. “Our health system is already in crisis.”
Dubé said establishments such as bars, cinemas, concert venues, gyms and spas in the Canadian region will shut down starting at 5 p.m., CBC News reported.
Working from home is now mandatory for all non-essential employees, including government staffers.
Restaurants, which are allowed to operate at half capacity, must close by 10 p.m.
Meanwhile, sporting events will not be allowed to have spectators, officials said.
Schools will also close early for the holidays, with students being let out Monday until Jan. 10, officials said.
It’s unclear how long the new measures will be in place.
The restrictions come as Quebec logged a record 4,571 new cases Monday, CBC News reported. Current hospitalizations were at 397, higher than half of the province’s capacity.