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Quebec Suspends Team Sports and Closes Sports Venues in Red Zones

The Montreal Gazette reported The Province of Quebec suspended team sports and closed fitness centers and gyms in Red Zones beginning October 8 for at least 20 days. According to the article provincial Junior Education Minister and Minister of Sports and Leisure Isabelle Charest made the announcement, and said, “For three weeks we’ll focus on individual training. We want to limit those contacts to make sure kids don’t get COVID, go back to school and contaminate other kids.”

How is Amateur Hockey Affected?

In COVID’s second wave washing over sports activitiesThe Suburban reported, “Originally Hockey Quebec was looking at entering Phase Six by October 15, now it will only be discussed come November 16. ‘We have to live with this,’ Andy Brookman, president of Hockey West Island and vice-president responsible for Hockey Feminin for Lac St. Louis said. ‘It is necessary and I feel we’ve done a very good job prior to today at keeping our members safe. Hopefully it’s just a blip.’ That 20 day blip could still allow double letter hockey to start by mid November and single letter programs to hit their targeted start date of December 1 for play.”

This puts all of Hockey Quebec in a similar position to that of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, except that Hockey Quebec is initially pausing for a month, while the GTHL has paused until at least January 1, 2021.

What are Red Zones?

Currently the cities of Montreal and some suburbs and Quebec City and some suburbs are Red Zones, as are portions of the Gaspésie. These areas are also described as “Level 4-Maximum Alert” on the Map of COVID-19 alert levels by region on the Province of Quebec’s website.

What is Phase Six?

Phase 6 refers to the sixth and final stage of Hockey Quebec’s Plan de Retour au Hockey (Back to Hockey Plan) which involves playing competitive hockey games with full teams.

Update

On October 16, Mark Lidbetter wrote an article in The SuburbanQuebec announces $70 million financial lifeline to sports and recreation This is about the Province of Quebec’s subsidies for the industries affected by the suspension of indoor sports activity. This bill included a subsidy for the QMJHL as discussed in QMJHL Suspends Play in Quebec.