ST. SAVIOUR | Merchants and citizens of the Laurentians fear that their orange enclave surrounded by areas on maximum alert will turn red if visitors continue to invade them.
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“It scares me every day. It’s worrying. People tell us that they are going to come visit us because we are orange, but we don’t want to turn red either! »Says the mayor of Saint-Sauveur, Jacques Gariépy.
Even if he admits that this weekend is “a dead time” for tourism, car traffic was heavy on Saturday and pedestrians flocked to Main Street.
“Normally, November is our off-peak period, but there, attendance is as if we were in the middle of summer during the construction holidays”, argues the manager of the restaurant Le Saint-Sau, Claire Pinaud, who believes that at least 80% of customers come from the red zones.
“Montreal is here”
“The locals don’t go out anymore, they don’t want to take any risks. It’s too much. We are completely overwhelmed, ”she continues.
“Montreal is here”, summarizes Caroline, waitress at the restaurant La Folie.
“We only serve people from the red zones on weekends,” said Marie-Claude of the Ye Olde Orchard pub, the phone glued to her ear to answer that the establishment is full for the evening.
An employee of the Reebok store at Factoreries Tanger, also notices an influx of visitors from the red zones.
” It’s crazy ! There are a lot of people from Montreal, says Kaelyn Hodge. Me, that scares me. I don’t want to catch COVID. ”
“It’s intense. There is traffic in Saint-Sau. You never see that! »Adds his colleague Alexis Mercier.
Saint-Sauveur is the gateway to the MRC Les Pays-d’en-Haut where only 15 active cases of COVID-19 out of just under 42,000 inhabitants are recorded by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec.
“But despite the low rate of contamination, citizens are afraid. Everyone around is turned red ”, drops Mayor Gariépy.
About ten days ago, the towns of Sainte-Adèle and Saint-Sauveur asked the deputies of the constituencies of Prévost and Bertrand, ministers Nadine Girault and Marguerite Blais, to set up roadblocks to intercept visitors. .
Prime Minister François Legault concluded at a press briefing on November 12 that their request “is not necessary at this time.”
But the mayor continues to believe that these roadblocks are essential, especially with the ski season approaching and which should bring its share of tourists.
“The government has our message. We want to remain an orange zone ”, assures Mr. Gariépy.