Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

SEPAQ closes its territory

After closing its service centers, shelters and accommodation, SEPAQ finally decided to ban access to its territory, starting Saturday morning. "In the context of the evolution of COVID-19, we want to leave as few employees as possible on the territory, ie only priority and essential employees," said Simon Boivin, spokesperson for SEPAQ.

SEPAQ closes its territory

At the beginning of the week, the SEPAQ had decided to close its infrastructure, but to leave the territory accessible. "If you come hiking with your own snowshoes, there is no problem," said Mr. Boivin.

Certain risky activities were prohibited, such as ice climbing. The cross-country ski trails were not maintained. However, there were miles and miles of snowshoe trails for hikers who needed a breath of fresh air to get through the crisis.


"It has been found that leaving access to the land has led to high traffic in some parks," said Simon Boivin on Friday.

To comply vigorously with the instruction not to favor large gatherings and as a safety measure both for our employees and for customers, we have closed access to the parks.

Simon Boivin, SEPAQ spokesperson

He added that free access to the parks could encourage people to travel between regions. "People from Montreal could decide to go to Orford or people from Quebec could plan an outing to Charlevoix," said Mr. Boivin. However, the Prime Minister and Mr. Horacio Arruda asked us to stay in our region. "

The SEPAQ has planned a relaxation of the cancellation and modification rules for its accommodation. However, she reminded that it is still possible to make reservations for activities and accommodation in spring and summer.

SEPAQ had taken preliminary measures last week to limit the spread of COVID-19. In particular, it had closed its equipment rental counters.

Several regional parks and private centers have adopted measures similar to those of the SEPAQ, that is, closing buildings, but maintaining access to the territory. This is the case in particular of the Bras-du-Nord valley, the Montagne du Diable park and the Mauricie park. At the Sutton natural environment park, the small reception cabin has been closed and hikers have free access to the trails.

At Val-Morin - Val-David Regional Park, buildings and shelters have been closed and access is restricted to residents. Everyone is reminded to keep their distance and avoid crowds.

At Domaine St-Bernard and Gatineau Park, we obviously closed the buildings, but we hoped to continue to maintain the cross-country ski trails as long as the weather permits.

For its part, the Le P’tit Train du Nord linear park intends to continue to maintain tracks “from time to time” to keep the site safe. The park reminds, however, that it is not advisable to circulate in large groups.

However, the situation is changing rapidly and it would be better to consult the websites of the various parks. Some parks and centers have decided to completely close their territory, such as the Gault reserve (Mont Saint-Hilaire), the Montmorency forest, the Coupée mountain, the Mont-Ham regional park and the Rivière-du-Nord regional park. .