Quebec Tightens and Extends Lockdown Measures, Imposes Curfew

On January 6, 2021, the Quebec government announced extended shutdowns and tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including a curfew. The measures take effect on January 9. The government has announced that the measures will be in effect until February 8 inclusively, but Order in Council no. 2-2021 does not specify an end date.

The retail closures and work-from-home order that were announced on December 15, 2020 have been extended. Details of the retail closures and work-from-home order are outlined in our previous blog post here.

  • Curbside pickup of items that have been purchased remotely will be permitted for all businesses, including businesses that are not authorized to remain physically open to the public, starting on January 9. In-store pickup is not authorized—items must be given to the purchaser outside of the establishment. Under the measures enforced during the holiday season, pickup was only permitted for enterprises authorized to remain open, and only for items that those enterprises were authorized to sell. This restriction will no longer apply as of January 9.

The curfew will be in effect from January 9. People must not be outside of their homes between the hours of 8:00 pm and 5:00 am. Police can stop anyone outside after curfew and question them. The curfew will be enforced by fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000.

  • Certain exceptional cases that justify being outdoors during curfew hours are listed here. For example, individuals may be out after 8:00 pm in order to perform employment work or provide professional services required to continue the activities or services that are not suspended. This includes the transportation of goods necessary to pursue authorized activities or services.
  • The following businesses may not admit members of the public between 7:30 pm (in order to give their employees time to get home before curfew) and 5:00 am:
    • Restaurants, for take-out and drive-thru (delivery operations remain authorized during curfew hours);
    • All retail sales businesses, including grocery stores; and
    • Premises in which sports or outdoor activities are permitted.
  • Despite the above, the following two businesses may admit members of the public between 7:30 pm and 5:00 am:
    • Service stations: During curfew hours, convenience stores that operate in service stations may sell products or services required for the proper functioning of a vehicle, or food products other than alcoholic beverages. However, only people who are already authorized to be out past curfew under certain circumstances, such as people on their way home from working a late shift in an authorized business, may visit a service station for such purchases after 7:30 pm.
    • Pharmacies: People will be permitted to be outside after curfew in order to obtain, in a pharmacy, pharmaceutical, hygiene or health products, or a professional service.
  • Employers are encouraged to provide employees who are working late shifts with a document attesting to that fact so that such employees can readily demonstrate that their travel during curfew is legitimate. The government has published a template form that employers can use (available here in French only).

Manufacturing, primary processing and construction sectors must reduce their activities to pursue only those activities necessary to fulfill their commitments.

Theaters, gyms, personal care services and beauty services will remain closed. Certain other activities will continue to be authorized, such as individual skiing, other individual outdoor sports, and filming for movies and television.

For more information on issues arising from COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Recovery Hub.

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