On Monday afternoon, Premier François Legault announced that because COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the province, several areas in Quebec are now considered red zones.
When asked why he thought Quebec needs to go through another lockdown, Legault replied that he believes people let their guard down during the summer.
A few days have passed since he announced the news and since there have been some minor changes, we decided to put together a summary of what you should know about the 28-day lockdown.
What regions are in red zones?
The greater Montreal region (including Laval and the South Shore).
The Quebec City region, with the exception of Portneuf and Charlevoix.
Several regions in the Laurentians.
Several regions in Chaudière-Appalaches.
Some regions in Lanaudière.
Private Gatherings and home visits:
Visits to the homes of other people are banned in red zones, though this rule does not apply to people living alone who can receive one visitor. People providing service or support, like private teachers, caregivers, babysitters can come into your home. This also means that if you hired someone to do work on your home, only one contractor can enter at a time.
If your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner lives at another address, you can still see each other.
What is closed?
Restaurants, diners, and food courts in shopping centres and food stores, except for deliveries, take-outs, or drive-through orders.
Restaurants in red zones must close their dining rooms and remain open only for delivery and pick-up orders.
Bars, taverns, discotheques, and other nightclubs.
Microbreweries and distilleries that serve food on-site.
Museums, biodomes, planetariums, insectariums, botanical gardens, aquariums, and zoos.
Arcades, amusement centres and amusement parks.
Saunas and spas, except for personal care services provided at those locations.
Libraries outside of educational institutions, except lending desks.
Movie theatres and rooms in which performing arts are presented, including venues where the arts are broadcast.
CHSLDs and Senior Homes:
People who reside at CHSLDs or similar residences cannot receive outside visitors.
Other important information
Most businesses can stay open so long as they respect the health rules. This includes retail stores, hotels, hairdressers, barbers, and so on.
Public gatherings are not allowed except for funerals and in churches or other places of worship where a maximum of 25 people can gather.
Masks will be mandatory in protests and in other outdoor situations where staying two metres apart is not possible.
Gyms and sports centers including pools and arenas:
Gyms can stay open but must comply with the standards already in force. ," the ministry made clear.
The government is not shutting down athletic activities but will re-evaluate the situation throughout the month.
Inter-regional travel is not banned but citizens are encouraged to avoid this as much as possible. You cannot, however, go to a restaurant or store outside your region.
Community organizations can stay open.
Families can continue to go to parks, but the government is discouraging people from going to areas where social distancing is difficult.
Legault said no changes are being made regarding how schools operate:
“Our objective is to protect the schools. This is important. Maybe one per cent of students have seen their class be closed. There is, unfortunately, an increase each day, but almost the majority of children, 99 per cent of children, can continue to go to their classes and it has to stay like that,” Legault said.
The premier said he wants to keep things "as normal as possible" in schools and emphasized the importance of allowing students to socialize.
He also admitted there was a risk involved but called it a "calculated risk."
"We have to understand, a larger risk would be to keep children at home," he said. "It's worth the effort to keep as many classes open as possible."
Police presence will increase in Montreal:
With rising COVID-19 cases, Mayor Valérie Plante said during a press conference Monday morning that police presence will be increased over the next 28 days and monitor any outdoor or indoor social gatherings.
The city is heavily discouraging gatherings between people who do not reside at the same address — including friends and family members who meet at parks.
"It’s not the time. For the next 28 days, we do not do [social] gatherings," she said.
According to a press conference held Wednesday afternoon, Legault said that police will be able to issue ‘on the spot’ tickets to the tune of $1,000 to residents who insist on holding house parties in violation of new pandemic regulations. In addition to this, police will be issuing $1,000 tickets to anyone participating in protests and demonstrations without wearing face masks.
The standard fine for breaking these rules is $1,000 per person, plus $546 in service charges, for a total of $1,546.