Quebec to allow gyms in coronavirus red zones to reopen as of March 26

Quebec is loosening a number of COVID-19 public health restrictions for sports and physical training both indoors and outdoors starting March 26.

Isabelle Charest, the minister responsible for sports, said Friday the government is taking a gradual approach so as not to reverse any progress made in the last few weeks. She described it as a first phase of deconfinement.

“The situation is still fragile,” she told reporters, adding that certain measures such as physical distancing must be maintained.

Under the plan, all indoor facilities — including gyms — can reopen in designated red zones such as Montreal in two weeks. However, training can only be done in pairs or with people from the same household when indoors.

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READ MORE: High-profile Quebec athletes ask province to reopen sports

In orange zones in Quebec, where gyms and other training centres are already permitted to be open, up to eight people will be allowed to train together indoors. When it comes to outside, up to 12 people will be allowed to do physical activities together.

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“It should be noted that the physical distance of two metres must be respected at all times, regardless of the type of activity and the region in which it is practiced,” the government’s statement reads.

Games and competitions are still off-limits, however. Charest said her objective is that athletes can get back to their activities and training as the province slowly lifts measures and ramps up vaccination.

Quebec is also giving the green light for classrooms bubbles to participate in extracurricular activities and school outings as of March 15.

The government will also allow intra-school sports to start on March 26.

Click to play video 'Quebecers march to National Assembly to protest organized sports ban' 0:46Quebecers march to National Assembly to protest organized sports ban

Quebecers march to National Assembly to protest organized sports ban

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