Canadian Underwriter

RCCAQ reacts to Quebec curfew

January 18, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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Quebec’s insurance brokers should not experience any major disruptions as a result of the province-wide evening curfew imposed a week ago, the chair of the Regroupement des cabinets de courtage d’assurance du Quebec (RCCAQ) predicts.

The curfew took effect on Jan. 9. As a result, with a few exceptions, no one in Quebec is allowed outside their home between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“At this time, the curfew has no real impact on brokerage firms as far as we know,” RCCAQ chair Mathieu Brunet said in an interview.

The intent of the curfew is to reduce the number of people who come into contact with others outside their household. By contrast, Ontario has a stay-at-home order around the clock, which was implemented on Jan. 14.

Quebec has been reporting more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases daily since the middle of last week, The Canadian Press reported.

Brunet noted most Quebec brokerages would normally be closed while the curfew is in effect. But if an insurance broker had to go into their office at 9 p.m. because there was an insurance claim emergency — and the broker can explain to law enforcement why it is an emergency — they should not have any legal problems, said Brunet, who by day is vice-president of MP2B Assurance.

“We have a way to allow our employees [to go to the office between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.] when we can provide a good reason for an employee to be out,” he told Canadian Underwriter.

The curfew in Quebec will be in effect until at least Feb. 8, CP reported. Violators can be fined up to $6,000. There are exceptions for essential workers, people walking dogs, and those who have medical reasons to be out, such as a doctor’s appointment.

The curfew requires grocery stores and convenience stores to close at 7:30 p.m. in order to allow workers and customers to get home. Stores connected to gas stations can stay open to serve essential workers, CP reported.

“We hope it will end as soon as possible but everyone needs to make their effort in this situation,” Brunet said of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CP reported Jan. 13 that Quebec hospitals had 1,516 COVID-19 patients, 229 of whom were in intensive care.

Health officials have been warning that Quebec hospitals could be overwhelmed in the coming weeks, CP reported. The wire service quoted Montreal’s public health director, Dr. Mylene Drouin, as saying the majority of people who are catching COVID-19 are getting it in a social context, from household members, family and close friends. Drouin told CP that cases peaked in early January, suggesting people were disregarding public health guidelines and meeting for small get-togethers over the holidays.

CP quoted Drouin as saying people with mild flu-like symptoms are going to work and waiting several days on average to get tested. She asked people who feel even slightly ill to stay home from work and get tested as quickly as possible.


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