Quebec eases certain restrictions: publishes the timetable for the reopening of restaurants, cinemas and other half-full places in the coming weeks | Stikeman Elliott LLP

to sum up

In December 2021, the Government of Quebec ordered several businesses to suspend their activities (including restaurant dining rooms), imposed capacity limits on businesses authorized to remain open, imposed the closure of non-essential businesses on Sundays and put put in place a curfew.

Earlier in January 2022, the curfew and Sunday closings ended, but the vaccine passport was extended to SAQs, SQDCs and large commercial establishments.

January 2022 developments

As the order for the entry into force of the new measures is not yet available, the information presented here is based on the summary of the government’s restrictions. here.

Note that the Government provides a table summarizing the restrictions and the dates of their lifting, but the English version has not yet been modified to take into account the latest changes. A French version of the table is available here.

Quebec required a vaccination passport for non-essential activities and businesses since September 1, 2021. Since January 18, 2022 and January 24, 2022, the vaccination passport is also compulsory to enter

  • Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) stores;
  • Stores of the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC)
  • commercial establishments and vehicle repair and maintenance centers with sales and service areas exceeding 1500 m2with the exception of those whose main activity is the sale of groceries or pharmacy products, the common areas of a shopping center and service stations.

While vaccine passports are not compulsory to access the services of a pharmacy in a store with a sales area of ​​1,500 m2 or more, those without a vaccination passport must be accompanied by a store employee and cannot purchase any non-pharmacy related products.

Detailed information

Since October 2020, the Government of Quebec has tightened and loosened restrictions on businesses as COVID-19 cases have risen and fallen. Most of the restrictions imposed on businesses were lifted during the month of November 2021 throughout Quebec (with maintenance of the special measures in force in Terres-cries-de-la-Baie-James and Nunavik). Some restrictions were reimposed in December and January and now a gradual easing is announced.

The state of health emergency in Quebec continues to be extended (currently until January 28, 2022) by the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, who is empowered under this Order to take the necessary measures to the protection of public health.

the Commission for standards, equity, health and safety at work amended the recommended measures for workplaces across Quebec (for a summary in French, see here).

Rapid antigen tests for personal use are made available free of charge with limits on the number of tests each person can obtain. For more information on rapid antigen tests, see here.

This article highlights restrictions on businesses and will be updated as Quebec’s response to the pandemic evolves. For the government’s summary of restrictions on other activities such as education, sports and meetings (and others), see here (click on the headings on the left).

Vaccine passports

Since September 1, 2021, Quebec has required a vaccination passport to access non-essential activities and businesses. The vaccination passport is compulsory for anyone aged 13 and over. Quebec has now decided to extend the vaccination passport requirement to liquor and cannabis stores (January 17, 2022) as well as stores and vehicle repair centers with an area of ​​more than 1500 m2 (January 24, 2022), except grocery stores and pharmacies.

The vaccination passport indicates that a person is “sufficiently protectedagainst COVID-19 and allows people aged 13 and over to access certain non-essential places and activities where the risk of transmission is considered higher. Photo ID is required. The complete list of places and activities that will require the vaccine passport is available here.

The passport is not required to access essential services such as education (primary, secondary or post-secondary). It is also not required for museums and libraries.

For more information on the vaccine passport and how to obtain it, see here.

Restrictions on businesses: see the government summary of all restrictions here (click on the areas covered).

Closed (some may open from January 31 and February 7, 2022)

  • dining rooms:
    • can open at 50% capacity from January 31, 2022
    • mandatory passport for vaccines
    • limit of 4 people or the occupants of 2 accommodations at a table
    • closes at midnight and ends food and drink sales at 11 p.m.
    • 1m distance between tables
  • arcades and, for their indoor activities, biodomes, planetariums, insectariums, botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos, theme sites, amusement centers and parks, recreation centers and water parks:
    • can open at 50% capacity from January 31, 2022
    • mandatory passport for vaccines
  • bars and discos;
  • casinos and gambling houses;
  • movie theaters and halls or halls where the performing arts are presented, including broadcast rooms;
    • can open at 50% capacity from February 7, 2022
    • mandatory passport for vaccines
    • no intermission
    • outside: maximum 1000 people
  • microbreweries and distilleries, only for services related to the consumption of beverages on the premises;
  • saunas and spas, except personal care provided in the sauna or spa;
  • any indoor place, other than a private residence or its equivalent, when used for bowling, darts, billiards or other similar games.

Open (capacity limits and face coverings required for ages 10 and up)

  • Shops and other commercial establishments
    • capacity limits: 50% of capacity allowing 1 customer per 20 m2 of sales area applicable in stores, circulation areas and food courts;
    • personal care services such as hairdressers, massage therapists, etc. : ridership limited to 50% of capacity.
  • Museums and libraries
    • physical distancing to be observed.

Remote work is mandatory wherever possible with distancing and mandatory masks for those working on site.

Nunavik and Terres-cries-de-la-Baie-James

To find out about the measures in force in Nunavik and the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James, consult the websites of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services and the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.

Go forward

As noted here, the Government of Quebec has amended the COVID-19 restrictions in place and will continue to monitor the situation closely. This post is updated regularly when government rules change.