Protests broke out Sunday night in Montreal after the city’s latest curfew went into effect due to spikes in Covid-19 cases.
The curfew began at 8 p.m. Sunday, according to the Quebec government website. The stricter curfew came after small reopenings and capacity increases made for certain industries in February and March led to an increase in cases. A previous curfew from 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. had been in place prior to Sunday.
A crowd of peaceful demonstrators gathered in Montreal’s Place Jacques-Cartier Sunday night, chanting slogans against the curfew requesting more freedom, according to CNN news partner CBC.
Such sayings included “Freedom for the Young,” CNN news partner CTV reported.
A few of the demonstrators lit fires and threw objects, shattering windows, according to CBC. When police responded to the protest, many demonstrators dispersed, the outlet reported.
Those who violate the curfew could face fines from $1,000 to $6,000 if they aren’t able to justify breaking the curfew. Young people 14 years and over could face $500 fine, the Quebec website said.
Quebec reported Montreal is in a red level 4 maximum alert stage due to an increase in cases.
Trudeau: ‘The end is definitely in sight, but we’re not there yet’
Officials said last week that Ontario, the country’s most populous province, is close to its “worst case scenario” projections for the third wave.
On Friday, the province nearly shattered its record for a single day increase in cases after setting the record last week for intensive care unit admissions related to Covid-19.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared another state of emergency in response, the third in the province since the pandemic began.
This means nonessential retail stores including malls are closed to in-person shopping with only grocery stores, pharmacies and garden centers open to the public.
ICU admissions across the country were also up more than 20% last week, Canadian health officials said.
“We’re seeing more and more young people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a news conference in Ottawa on Friday. “So to young people: There are more contagious and more serious variants out there, even if you’re younger, you can get sick very, very quickly.”
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, echoed the prime minister’s concerns during a Friday news conference, saying that the vaccine rollout will not slow the rapid growth in cases as more contagious variants spread throughout the country.
“Right now my concern is … the ICUs filling up, not just hospitalizations, because there is an absolute limit to ICU capacity, not necessarily because of equipment, but because of people,” Tam said.
Trudeau said that, along with the continued rollout of vaccine, more needs to be done to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the country
“The end is definitely in sight, but we’re not there yet,” Trudeau said. “This third wave is more serious and we need to hang in there for another few weeks to make sure that we can flatten that curve, drop those numbers down again, to give a chance for vaccines to take hold.”
CNN’s Paula Newton contributed to this report.