Quebec is softening restrictions on gatherings that were implemented to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after roughly two months of lockdown.

Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault announced the measure during the province’s briefing on Wednesday, saying that a maximum of 10 people from three different households will be allowed to see one another as of Friday.

The gatherings must be outside and people must still keep two metres apart under the rules, according to Guilbault.

READ MORE: ‘The virus is still there,’ Legault says as Quebec sees lowest coronavirus case increase since April

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“We have to find a balance between our battle on the virus and the fact we want to return to a somewhat normal life,” she said.

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Guilbault stressed that indoor gatherings are still banned for now and that the province wants to see how this next step goes. People should also wash their hands frequently, she added.

“You will be able to take advantage of the nice weather and the people around you,” she said.

Quebec is also moving forward with a staggered reopening of the next wave of businesses beginning next month.

Under the plan, private health services are allowed to resume on June 1 across the province. This includes dentistry, which has been limited to urgent procedures.

READ MORE: Quebec provincial parks partially reopen as province permits some sports to resume

Beauty and esthetic services, such as salons, will be allowed to reopen on June 1 in most regions, except for the Greater Montreal area. A date for Montreal-area businesses has not yet been decided, according to Guilbault.

Quebec recorded 578 new infections, bringing the province’s total to 44,775 on Wednesday. The province has the highest caseload in the country.

The respiratory illness killed 71 more Quebecers. The death toll stands at 3,718.

With files from the Canadian Press

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