Québec Announces Additional Measures Based on Number of COVID Cases in Certain Areas

September 22, 2020

With an increase in the number of COVID cases, the Québec government has started adding back restrictions with most being based on the alert level in a given region. The latest measures deal with gatherings in certain areas as well as operations by restaurants, bars, places of worship, residential and long-term care centers and rented halls. Other businesses are not currently impacted. This article highlights these additional restrictions and how they add or vary with those implemented in the course of spring and summer as mentioned in our prior article.

New Restrictions Throughout Québec

With Ministerial Order 2020-063 dated 11 September 2020 and Ministerial Order 2020-064 dated 17 September 2020, the holders of bar permits are now:

  • required to maintain specific registers and their patrons are required to furnish the information necessary for the purposes of the register, which has to be destroyed 30 days after being entered in the register; and
  • prohibited for admitting, simultaneously, in each room and on each terrace of the establishment where the permit is used, more than 50% of the number of persons that may be admitted under its permit.

With Ministerial Order 2020-064 dated 17 September 2020 private seniors' residence are now required to maintain specifics registers for every visitor admitted to the residence as well as registers of entry and exits by residents and staff members. Every person is required to furnish the information necessary for the purposes of the register. The information in those registers must be destroyed 30 days after being entered.

Finally, halls and places of worship are now also subject to new restrictions. Since, September 21st, other than those in Level 3/Orange Areas below, as provided in Ministerial Order 2020-068 dated 20 September 2020, a maximum of 50 people may gather (a) in a hall where the sale or service of alcoholic beverages is permitted or where an event or reception of a festive nature is held, or; (b) be in attendance in a place of worship. As mentioned in the government’s announcement, places where people sit relatively still and speak little or nothing, such as theaters, cinemas, theaters and audio-visual recording studios, can continue to accommodate a maximum of 250 people.

New Restrictions for Level 3 – Alert/Orange Areas

As indicated on the government site, the territories of Montréal, Chaudière-Appalaches and the Capitale-National health regions, except the regional county municipalities of Charlevoix, Charlevoix-Est and Portneuf, are now considered Level 3-Alert regions. Ministerial Order 2020-068 dated 20 September 2020, adds the following restrictions for these areas.

Private Residence and Tourist Homes

In private residences (or the like) and tourist homes in these areas, gatherings (whether within such places or on their grounds) are reduced to a maximum of 6 people (down from 10 people) except if the people are occupants of a maximum of 2 private residences (as opposed to a mere recommendations of no more than three households) or their equivalent or if one person is receiving service or support from another.

Halls and Places of Worship

In these areas, a maximum of 25 people can be gathered in (a) a hall in which the sale or service of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises is permitted, or in a hall where any event or reception of a festive nature is held;  or (b) be in attendance in a place of worship.

Restaurants, Bars, Food Courts and Casinos

In a restaurant, a food court in a shopping centre or food store, at casino or gaming house tables, in a bar or in any other room used for the purposes of restaurant services or the consumption of alcohol in these areas, a maximum of 6 persons may be seated at the same table (down from 10 people), except if the persons are occupants of a same private residence (or its equivalent) or if one person is receiving from another person a service or support.

The holders of bar permits for these area can only use the permit to sell alcohol from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (as opposed to midnight) and  no consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted after midnight (as opposed to 1a.m.).  

Outdoor Gatherings

In these areas outdoor assemblies in public places is reduced to 25 people (down from 250 people).

Residential and Long-Term Care Centers

Visits are now limited to those (a) for humanitarian purposes or to obtain care or services required by their state of health; or (b) by a family caregiver who provides significant aid to the user or resident.

Other Recommendations

As mentioned in the government’s announcement,

  • For stores in these areas, it is recommended that only one person per household be allowed.
  • Travel to another area is not recommended though not outright banned.

More Restrictions in the Future

New closings may occur if additional outbreaks of the virus arise which compromise the healthcare system’s ability to deal with it. We will keep you posted.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the indicated date. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such. Please read our full disclaimer at www.stikeman.com/legal-notice.

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