Quebec Closes Casinos Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases

  • Casinos, bars, spas, gyms, and cinemas closed at 5pm on Monday in Quebec, Canada
  • COVID-19 cases hit a single-day high for the entire pandemic on Monday this week
  • Officials have raised concerns about Omicron and the strain it will put on hospitals
  • Quebec casinos have already closed for more than a year, only reopening in June 2021
Closed covid-19 sign
Casinos in Quebec had to close on Monday due to rising COVID-19 cases in the province. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Concerning case numbers

Quebec is closing casinos, bars, spas, gyms, and cinemas as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in the province. Spectators will also no longer attend sporting events, with the Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé also advising restaurants to close their doors at 10pm.

Monday’s announcement of these new measures comes a few days after the authorities decided to restrict bars and restaurants to 50% capacity. Casinos and other establishments had to shutter their doors on Monday at 5pm.

a single-day record for the Canadian province since the start of the pandemic

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec reached 4,571 on Monday, a single-day record for the Canadian province since the start of the pandemic. Beginning on Tuesday, elementary schools and institutes will close for in-person teaching up until January 10. Officials intend to use the facilities for administrating rapid tests and vaccinations for students.

A worsening situation

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé spoke about the seriousness of the latest wave of the virus. He said: “The community spread is astounding. Our health system is already in crisis … and things aren’t getting better. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are on the rise.”

Quebec has numerous casinos and other gaming-related properties like poker halls. Loto-Quebec is the main operator of casinos in the province, with its properties including the Casino de Montreal, Casino de Charlevoix, and the Casino de Mont-Tremblant.

On Friday, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labeled the spreading of the Omicron variant “scary.” Some have called for the introduction of significant restrictions on travel in order to help mitigate the strain on the country’s healthcare system.

Casinos struggling

Authorities all across the world are watching the worsening COVID-19 situation closely. It is likely that authorities in other regions will also introduce restrictions on casinos. In November, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement labeling Omicron a “variant of concern,” the share prices of casino companies with a presence in the US and Macau took a big hit.

properties did not reopen in regions such as Quebec until June 202

Canadian casinos have had to deal with extended closures since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. After initially closing at the start of the pandemic, these properties did not reopen in regions such as Quebec until June 2021.

Even after reopening, many casinos still had restrictions in place. In the province of Ontario for example, gaming establishments could only return to 100% capacity at the end of October. People still had to show proof of full vaccination before they could enter casinos in the province.