As clubbers from Sin City to New York wile out in the nation's top venues, our friends in the Great White North apparently aren't as lucky.
Two Canadian provinces have reportedly relaxed COVID-19 restrictions affecting nightlife businesses—but attendees must refrain from dancing. According to Global News, Quebec and British Columbia are currently the only two provinces with a mandate that bans dancing in bars and nightclubs.
"Montréal is one of the last few cities in the world where you still can’t dance, and we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world for adults," said Mathieu Grondin, the co-founder of MTL 24/24, a non-profit organization that analyzes, animates and provides frameworks for the city's nightlife. "Dance floors have reopened all across Europe, all across North America."
Why the ban on dancing, you ask? The Health Department is taking a gradual approach to relaxing COVID-19 regulations "depending on the epidemiological situation," said a department spokesperson.
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According to Dr. André Veillette, an immunologist at the Montréal Clinical Research Institute, the close proximity between dancing individuals essentially engenders a breeding ground for transmission of the virus.
"Usually when people dance they breathe faster, they talk to the people around them, people are very close. They’re not two metres apart, they’re sometimes two centimetres apart," Veillette told Global News, adding that the ventilation in bars and nightclubs also poses an issue. "It’s got the right combination to cause a lot of trouble."
On Saturday, October 23rd, a faction of Montréal natives gathered on Mount Royal to protest the ban on dancing. The gathering featured a live DJ and attracted hundreds of protesters, some waving signs that read "dance for the right to dance."
As of Wednesday, October 27th, Quebec health officials have administered 13,195,339 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, CBC reports. According to Quebec's Health Ministry, 90% of the eligible population in the province has received one dose of vaccine and 86% has received both jabs.