Hotel pools to remain closed in red zones during Quebec's March break

·2 min read
The Ministry of Health released a statement at the end of the day Friday, outlining which public health measures are being scaled back during March break. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC - image credit)
The Ministry of Health released a statement at the end of the day Friday, outlining which public health measures are being scaled back during March break. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC - image credit)

Quebec families looking to hop into a hotel pool during March break won't be able to do so if they're staying in one of the province's red zone.

A ministerial decree made public on Friday confirmed that only municipal swimming pools will be authorized to reopen as of Feb. 26.

Now hotel owners expect a tidal wave of cancellations as many lodgers were planning their stay with hopes of at least swimming with so much closed and travelling abroad so strongly discouraged.

Eve Paré, CEO of the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal, said the Legault government had yet to clarify the rules since the premier announced on Feb. 16 that pools would be allowed to open Friday.

Regardless, members of the association launched launched promotional campaigns to attract families looking for something to do during March break, she said.

"This was the main reason for the stay for many clients," said Paré.

This news comes at a time when hotel occupancy rates are at an all-time low. According to the Altus Group, Montreal's hotel occupancy rate in November 2019 was 73 per cent. In November of 2020, it was just 12 per cent.

The Ministry of Health released a statement at the end of the day Friday, outlining which public health measures are being scaled back during March break.

First, sports activities taking place in public indoor swimming pools are permitted, but limited to individual practise, in pairs or in groups of people residing at the same address, the statement says.

Individual lessons or lessons alongside members of the same residence are possible also, it says.

However, the swimming pools of hotel establishments will have to remain closed in the red zone, the statement says. In an email to Radio-Canada, the ministry says hotels in orange zones can open their pools.