The Montreal Canadiens will still be able to play home games despite the Quebec government’s enforcement of a curfew aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
Premier François Legault confirmed the information at a press conference Wednesday evening, after unveiling the new measures that will take effect Saturday and remain in place until at least Feb. 8.
“The people from the Canadiens have had long discussions with public health,” Legault said, noting that there will be no fans at games, players and personnel will be tested daily and they are not allowed to visit other people when off the ice.
“I think Quebecers want … to see hockey games,” he said. “It’s done completely safely, and they have the means to pay for that safety.”
The Canadiens kicked off training camp at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Que., on Sunday and are due to open their season on Wednesday against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
After playing their first six games on the road, their first home game at the Bell Centre is set for Jan. 28, against the Calgary Flames.
Quebec, Alberta and B.C. have given the green light to their respective NHL teams to play home games during the pandemic.
Manitoba’s acting deputy chief provincial public health officer has said he’s confident the Winnipeg Jets can play home games this season, while Ontario hasn’t made a final decision on games in the province.