‘Semi-normal:’ restaurants, gyms, churches in Montreal allowed to reopen
On the same day Montreal restaurants and gyms reopened, Quebec announced there were no new deaths from the novel coronavirus
Montrealer Jacob McPhee was finally back at the gym on June 22, eager to start gaining back the 20 pounds of weight he had lost over the previous three months.
“I’m a little discouraged and I want to gain it back,” McPhee said.
McPhee was among a handful of gym rats at Prestige Fitness in LaSalle on the first day gyms and restaurants in the Montreal area were allowed to open since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was initially concerned that the gym would be overflowing with customers, despite its 50-person limit, but felt comfortable once he realized there weren’t many people inside.
“For me, if I come in and I see it’s packed, I still want to be safe,” McPhee said. “But, there’s not that many people so I’m going to stay and train.”
Prestige Fitness owner Theano Kolovos said her clients have been following the rules, including cleaning exercise equipment before and after usage, as well as sanitizing their hands before entering the facility.
“Everybody’s excited: I’m excited, the members are excited,” Kolovos said.
“We’re glad that everything is back to normal — at least, semi-normal.”
A few blocks away, Sarah Leblanc enjoyed a drink at the Brasserie des Rapides pub.
She said she was excited to get back to her routine of visiting two to three times a week, either alone or with friends.
“I’ll probably be here a lot,” Leblanc said.
“I’m not going to walk on eggshells,” she said. “I keep my distance, of course, I take my precautions. I wash my hands. If I’m going to get it, I’m going to get it, right? Everybody’s probably going to get it in the future because it’s not just going to disappear.”
Brasserie des Rapides owner Domenic Macri said there were close to 25 patrons at his restaurant for breakfast — some of them coming as soon as they re-opened at 7 a.m.
“We had reservations for breakfast, which — usually, on a Monday, we do not have reservations for breakfast. We usually have ample room,” Macri said.
On the same day Montreal restaurants and gyms reopened, Quebec announced there were no new deaths from the novel coronavirus.
It was the first time since March that the province hadn’t reported a death linked to the virus, and the current toll stands at 5,417.
Quebec reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 on June 22, for a total of 54,835, with 23,506 cases considered recovered.
Restaurants, churches and indoor fitness centres reopened across Montreal, and public indoor gatherings of up to 50 people are now permitted provincewide.
Private homes still may only welcome a maximum of 10 people from three different families.
By Julian McKenzie