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The Quebec government is calling on the federal government to implement three additional measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, after health minister Christian Dubé said there are still a significant number of cases linked to people travelling, despite advice from public health to stay home.
Dubé said he wants the federal government to mandate COVID-19 testing before travellers arrive back in Quebec, screening and rapid testing at international airports, and enhanced follow up to ensure travellers are adhering to the 14-day quarantine rule when they return to the province.
“We want to avoid what happened after the spring break,” the health minister said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We would like these measure to be put in place in the coming days.”
“We must not lose sight of what is going on here.”
Dubé also revealed that Quebec has almost administered all its initial doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine but has been holding doses back to ensure there is enough for the second dose each individual requires.
“Like other jurisdictions, there are questions about the request to keep the second dose,” he said.
Dubé stressed that the COVID-19 situation in Quebec is “very worrying,” and the province is “not going in the right direction.”
“The only way not to hit a wall in January is to follow public health guidelines,” he said.
Quebec reported 2,381 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and confirmed 64 more deaths, including 17 deaths that occurred in the last 24 hours.
A total of 2,857 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Monday, bringing the total vaccinations in Quebec to 22,500.
The province has identified one case of the new COVID-19 variant, linked to someone who recently travelled to the U.K.