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Protesters against health measures on bus to Montreal urged to get tested for COVID-19


Public health officials in the Chaudière-Appalaches region south of Quebec City are calling on protesters who travelled on two chartered buses to Montreal on May 1, to get tested for COVID-19.

Authorities said Friday that 48 passengers may have been exposed to the virus during the trip.

In a news release, the regional health authority — CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches — said the buses, chartered by Beauce organizers, departed from Lévis’ Saint-Nicolas neighbourhood.

Read more: Quebec redirects COVID vaccinations from Olympic Stadium due to weekend protest

Those experiencing symptoms are being asked to get tested and self-isolate.

The May 1 protest, held near Montreal’s Olympic stadium, drew thousands who marched against COVID-19 public health measures which they called excessive and unjustified.

The Chaudière-Appalaches region, one of several regions in the province, has been under stricter emergency lockdown measures for just over a month in a bid to slow the progression of the virus in those areas.

Those emergency measures included shutting down non-essential businesses and online learning for students and an 8 p.m. curfew.

Read more: Quebec moves parts of Chaudière-Appalaches into lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise

Earlier in the week, however, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that those measures were being lifted in certain parts of the high school students in certain parts of Chaudière-Appalaches region.

On May 10, high school students will return to school and non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen. The overnight curfew is also being pushed back to 9 p.m.

On Friday, Montreal reported the most new cases in the province with 194; followed by Montérégie, south of Montreal, with 140; and Chaudière-Appalaches with 137 cases.

— With files from The Canadian Press