Closing of schools and daycare centres

No. The government will pay parents’ contribution as well as the daycare centres’ subsidies for this period.

Parents whose children usually attend a non-subsidized daycare centre will not be charged for daycare services during this period.

Yes. Measures will be announced shortly.

Workers in the public sector will continue to be paid and will be asked to engage in teleworking when possible. 

Employers in the private sector are encouraged to display flexibility. Compensation measures will be implemented and announced shortly.

The Gouvernement du Québec is assessing the situation in real time to ensure that Quebecers’ health remains the priority. If such a decision is made, the individuals concerned will be notified in due course.

Educational institutions (elementary and secondary schools, training centres, private schools) will be closed until May 1, inclusively.

College and university students will be able to complete their term by means of online learning activities, starting on March 30.

Québec is facing an emergency. For this reason, the Gouvernement du Québec is immediately adopting the necessary measures to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading within Québec’s population. This is a responsible decision based on the recommendations of the Direction générale de la santé publique to help minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.

Yes, in case of need. For example, such assistance could be offered to people working in the essential services.

However, you must follow the government’s health and hygiene recommendations and make children aware of them, that is, frequent handwashing, coughing in the crook of your elbow, and keeping a safe distance from other people.

Use your judgment in light of the space available. First and foremost, it is important to follow the health recommendations and establish basic hygiene measures.

The operating hours now planned are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Children in shared custody

There is no single response. We are appealing to the parents’ collaboration and good judgment.

When a change of custody seems necessary, ensure that each family has abided by the hygiene instructions issued by public health authorities. Court judgments and orders must also be observed.

For any specific situation, you can call the Clinique d’assistance juridique COVID-19 established by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec and the Barreau du Québec at 1-866-699-9729 (toll free).

To obtain additional information on child custody, you can also consult the Ministère de la Justice website at www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/coronavirus/questions-reponses-garde-enfants/ This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Employment

On March 25, the federal government announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provides $2 000 per month for workers who are the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All Canadians who are unable to work because of COVID-19 are entitled to the benefit whether or not they are eligible for employment insurance, in particular those who have lost income because:

  • of COVID-19, including those who still have a job but are no longer receiving income because of COVID-19-related work interruptions;
  • they are sick or in quarantine;   
  • they must stay home to take care of a child or someone suffering from the virus.    

To apply for the CERB, you must register on a new website that the federal government will set up in the week of April 6. The address of the website will be announced shortly. 

Individuals who return from a trip must not go to work. When they return, they are obliged to self-isolate for 14 days.

Individuals who are not returning from a trip and who do not display any symptoms are asked to go to work if their employer’s services and activities are maintained and are deemed priority services and activities. However, such individuals must abide by the usual hygiene rules.

Individuals who are not returning from a trip and who do not display any symptoms are invited to go to work and to abide by the usual rules of hygiene.

Individuals who are not returning from a trip and who display cold- or flu-like symptoms are invited to display common sense and evaluate the relevance of going to work in light of their health status.

While you await a response from either of the federal programs, it is possible to apply for last-resort financial assistance.

If you are ineligible for the Temporary Aid for Workers Program (TAWP), you may be eligible for a social assistance program.

The directors of human resources in government departments, who are receiving information from the Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor, will oversee such decisions. Needs and the ability to offer teleworking differ depending on the government departments and bodies.

Yes, employers must take all necessary steps to protect workers’ health and ensure their safety and physical well-being, as provided for in section 51 of the Act respecting occupational health and safety.

Employers must implement measures to identify, monitor and eliminate biological risks. For example, they must apply the hygiene measures needed to limit the spread of a virus. They can also introduce work practices that promote social distancing in order to minimize risk. The practices may, for example, include

  • avoiding non-essential face-to-face meetings;
  • using technology for communications with and between workers;
  • promoting telework.

Employers can also introduce a workplace attendance policy for workers with signs and symptoms of infection during the pandemic. Workers must be informed of the correct steps to take if symptoms appear.

Workers themselves must take appropriate steps to protect their health, safety and physical well-being, and ensure that they do not endanger the health, safety or physical well-being of other nearby workers, in accordance with section 49 of the Act respecting occupational health and safety.

Yes. You can be absent from work, without pay, because of sickness or an accident. If you have 3 months’ continuous service, you can benefit from up to 2 days of paid sick leave per year.

You cannot be absent for more than 26 weeks in any 12-month period, starting from the date of the first absence. A worker’s regular position, and the related advantages, are protected by law while the worker is absent.

Your employer must allow you to return to your regular position at the pay level you would have reached had you remained at work.

More information is available on the CNESST website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

In the case of a refusal to work, the CNESST inspector will quickly determine whether or not the workplace in question poses a threat.

If a salaried work does not perform work, for example through teleworking, the employer is not obliged to remunerate him. However, employers are asked to display understanding and flexibility in the current situation. To find out more, please consult the CNESST website This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French only).

A case-by-case evaluation must be carried out. Workers who do not provide essential services should stay home and, if possible, engage in teleworking. If this is impossible and the workers offer an essential services, they can continue to work if they are in good health and protective measures are adopted for them. The workers must apply such measures.

Temporary Aid for Workers Program

The workers who are eligible are those who are in isolation for one of the following reasons:

  • they have contracted the virus or have symptoms of it
  • they have been in contact with an infected person
  • they have returned from abroad

Also, workers who are in isolation (or likely to go into isolation based on the above criteria) are eligible for the Program if:

  • they do not receive compensation from their employer
  • they do not have private insurance
  • they are not covered by other government programs, such as employment insurance from the federal government

The lump-sum amount granted to an eligible worker is $1,146, or $573 per week for a period of 14 days of isolation.

No, for the moment only workers who are not eligible for employment insurance and who are in isolation are eligible for the Program.

The Program’s implementation period began on March 16. It will be offered until the situation is back to normal.

Processing of applications began on Thursday, March 19. Payments will be made as quickly as possible. The target for the coming weeks is to make payments on eligible applications within 48 working hours.

Most workers are eligible for employment insurance. We are working with the federal government to ensure that workers who are not in self-isolation but have lost their income can be covered during the period required. Also, the Government is working intensively to develop and offer measures to respond to the economic slowdown, but right now we are concentrating our efforts on health-related measures.

This financial assistance will be paid by bank transfer. This operation is conducted in partnership with the Red Cross, which has unique expertise in this area.

Discussions are underway with the Government of Canada to ensure that the different programs and supports that have been announced are complementary, while making sure that the process for receiving aid is simple for workers. The goal is to avoid duplication.

Information on the Program is available on the Québec.ca website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

For more information on the coronavirus, go to www.quebec.ca/coronavirus or follow the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/sante_qc This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Services Québec is taking calls from citizens wanting information on the Program or coronavirus at its toll-free number 1-877-644-4545.

For updates on the situation in Canada, visit the Government of Canada’s page: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Current situation This hyperlink will open in a new window..

At-risk individuals

Starting March 13, 2020, non-essential visits to hospitals, residential and long-term care centres, intermediate resources, targeted family-type resources and private seniors’ homes will be prohibited to protect the most vulnerable individuals and workers in the health and social services network. In the case of births, the other parent, significant other or natural caregiver identified for this purpose is not deemed to be a visitor and can accompany the mother.

In cases where the end of life is imminent, the constant presence of one or two people who are of significant importance to the person is not deemed to be a visit.

It is possible to deliver food to seniors’ homes. Avoid all contact with the residents and leave immediately after giving the food to a staff member at the reception desk.

At all times, it is important to keep distance between people, avoid direct contacts and follow the usual hygiene rules when you cough or sneeze.

To limit the possibility of introducing the coronavirus into hospitals, residential and long-term care centre and family-type intermediate resources for seniors and vulnerable adults, the delivery of food from outside (delivery by a restaurant, food brought by family members) is prohibited.

If the users require certain items that the hospitals, residential and long-term care centres, and family-type intermediate resources for seniors and vulnerable adults do not offer, it is possible to deliver them. A security mechanism for their delivery must be established to avoid any contact with the residents. Leave immediately after giving the food or items to a staff member at the reception desk.

At all times, it is important to keep distance between people, avoid direct contacts and follow the usual hygiene rules when you cough or sneeze.

Yes. Health care establishments tolerate visits under exceptional or humanitarian circumstances.

The Gouvernement du Québec is prohibiting non-essential visits.

These people are asked to stay in their living environment, except where necessary or under exceptional circumstances, such as an essential medical appointment. They must be supervised.

When they return to their living environment, all preventive and infection control measures must be applied in an exemplary manner, for example, frequent handwashing with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds or an alcohol-based disinfectant. It is also important to cover the mouth and nose with the arm to reduce the spread of germs when coughing or sneezing. When using a disposable paper tissue, discard it promptly and then wash your hands and avoid direct contact such as handshakes when greeting others.

These exceptional measures seek to contain COVID-19’s spread.

It is possible to deliver groceries to elderly people or immunodeficient individuals solely if you do not display any symptoms and have not returned from a trip within less than 14 days.

It is important at all times to maintain distance between individuals, avoid direct contacts and abide by the usual rules of hygiene when you cough or sneeze.

According to the World Health Organization, pregnant women are at no greater risk than adults in general of complications related to COVID-19. Scientists note that there is no known risk of malformation or mother-to-foetus transmission. The usual preventive rules apply to pregnant women. For more information, see the Information for pregnant women page.

Yes, children are less at risk. However, they can still transmit the virus. Consequently, directives aimed at containing the virus’ spread also apply to children. For more information, see the Information for parents of children age 0 to 17 page.

Symptoms, treatments and prevention

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Fever
    • in children: 38°C (100.4°F) and above (rectal temperature),
    • in adults: 38°C (100.4°F) and above (oral temperature),
    • in older adults: 37.8°C (100°F) and above (oral temperature),
    • or 1.1°C above the person's usual value;
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

The symptoms can be mild (similar to a cold) or more severe (such as those associated with pneumonia and respiratory or kidney failure).

COVID-19 usually infects the nose, throat and lungs. In most cases, it is spread by:

  • close contact with an infected person when the person coughs or sneezes;
  • touching infected surfaces with your hands and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

In general, COVID-19 does not survive for long on objects:

  • 3 hours on inert objects with dry surfaces;
  • 6 days on inert objects with wet surfaces.

Masks are not an effective means of protection for the general public in Québec. Their use is indicated more for patients who are suspected of being infected and for the health professionals who are providing care for them.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 for the moment. Most people with the virus will recover on their own by remaining at home without needing to go to the hospital.

Confinement is one of the measures that will reduce the spread of COVID-19. Elderly people 70 years of age and over and those with a weakened immune system or suffering from chronic diseases are asked to stay home,except in the case of necessity or exceptional circumstances, for example for a medical appointment.

Visits to hospitals, residential and long-term care centres, intermediate resources, family-type resources and private seniors' homes are prohibited until further notice.

Healthy individuals are urged to avoid gatherings as much as possible, especially in enclosed spaces, and to follow basic health advice.

For now, the spread of COVID-19 is under control in Québec, but the situation must be monitored closely. The Government is taking all the necessary measures to contain the contagion as much as possible.

Yes, the RAMQ will from now on cover health services provided by correspondence or by means of telecommunications. This coverage includes, for example, a telephone consultation with a physician.

Priority services and activities

The Gouvernement du Québec has asked the owners of restaurants to close their dining rooms. Takeout orders, deliveries and drive-through services continue to be permitted.

The Québec government has announced the closing until further notice of tourist accommodation establishments.

However, there are two exceptions to the rule: certain campgrounds that host travellers who do not have any other housing option and that provide adequate sanitary facilities, and hotels. The other types of tourist accommodation, such as cottages, rented second homes, bed and breakfast accommodation and inns must stay closed.

No. Grocery stores and drugstores are staying open.

Information on medication supplies and access to pharmaceutical services is available in an fact sheet This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only) on this subject.

You can consult the list of activities and services that can remain open in the Minimization of non-priority services and activities section.

It should be noted that all businesses can always engage in teleworking and e-commerce.

In order to protect Quebecers, the Gouvernement du Québec is prohibiting indoor and outdoor gatherings. However, provision has been made for several exceptions (see “Gatherings and events” section).

Individuals who must attend a gathering that the Gouvernement du Québec has exempted areare urged to remain for the shortest possible time and as far as possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres from other people.

For places of worship, religious gatherings of all faiths should be suspended, unless they are essential. If a gathering takes place, social distancing must be observed.

Advice for travellers and isolation

Anyone returning from a stay outside Québec must self-isolate for 14 days. Such isolation covers both travellers who are sick or display symptoms and those who do not have symptoms and are in perfect health.

Individuals in self-isolation must stay at home, monitor their symptoms and call 1 877 644-4545 if they have a cough or fever. Certain practices are also recommended if they live with other people who have not travelled. To obtain additional information on the procedures to follow, please refer to the Health Recommendations section.

The Gouvernement du Québec is asking employers to be understanding and flexible toward employees who are returning from travelling or who have symptoms.

Individuals in voluntary self-isolation must stay at home, monitor their symptoms and call 1 877 644-4545 if they have a cough or fever. Certain practices are also recommended if they live with other people who have not travelled. To obtain additional information on the procedures to follow, please refer to the Health Recommendations section.

The Gouvernement du Québec suggests that individuals who are abroad come home if possible.

The Government of Canada in its Travel Advice and Advisories This hyperlink will open in a new window. section recommends that individuals who are abroad find out about the commercial options avilable to them to return to Canada and to return sooner than planned if such options become more limited.

For this information, you are advised to consult the Travel Advice and Advisories This hyperlink will open in a new window. section on the Government of Canada site.

The Gouvernement du Québec is asking Quebecers to cancel non-essential trips.

If you decide to travel anyway, you are advised to consult the Travel Advice and Advisories This hyperlink will open in a new window. section on the Government of Canada site. You must also self-isolate for 14 days when you return.

Truck drivers and air crews and seagoing personnel do not have to self-isolate given the important role that they play in the transportation of critical goods such as food.

There is currently no program to refund the cost of trips abroad. Travellers should contact their travel agent or travel insurer.

Food

No. There is no reason to fear a food shortage.

Mass transit and publics spaces

Public transit services continue to operate and are an essential service to enable staff in the health and social services network to travel.

Québec transit authorities have increased the frequency of maintenance of their vehicles and facilities.

Users are still advised to follow the usual health advice and to maintain as far as possible a distance of 2 metres from the other people present.

Moreover, they are asked, as far as possible, to modify their usual schedules to limit rush-hour crowds in mass transit systems.

Yes, in case of need. However, as much as possible it is preferable to avoiding taking them inside stores.

Certain cities such as Montréal and Québec City prohibit access to them. In fact, it is preferable to avoid them.

Health emergency

A health emergency can be declared when a threat to the health of the population demands the immediate application of certain measures. It empowers the Québec government and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to implement an array of measures to protect the health of the population.

The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux could, for example, promptly purchase equipment or conclude the necessary contracts to protect the health of the population.

Yes. This exceptional measure demonstrates the Gouvernement du Québec’s determination to adopt the necessary measures to protect Quebecers.