Backlash forces officials in Canada to end dog-walking curfew as part of new COVID lockdown
A government spokeswoman said health officials initially forgot to include the exemption
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Officials in Canada's province of Quebec relented on their curfew on dog walking as part of a large lockdown to slow the recent COVID-19 surge, following a backlash from pet owners.
The officials on New Year's Eve imposed an overall 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew but on Sunday allowed an exception for dog walking. However, the walkers can go only one kilometer, less than a mile, from their residence, according to the National Post.
A government spokeswoman said health officials initially forgot to include the exemption.
The curfew is just part of larger effort to try to stop the virus surge, led by the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant, and also includes closing restaurant dining rooms, delaying the reopening of schools and closing non-essential businesses on Sundays.
This is the second time the province is facing a curfew. The previous measure, introduced in early January 2021, was in effect for more than five months.
Adults found in violation of the new curfew face possible fines of $1,000 to $6,000, and those 14 years and older could receive a fine of $500.
The country’s Defense Department says as many as 200 personnel are being deployed at vaccination centers in Montreal, the Canadian newspaper also reports.