Outdoor sports and leisure activities

Practising recreational and sports activities is good for our health and well-being. The public health authority guidelines that must be respected in red zones are not intended to suspend activities. Rather, they aim to keep social contacts to a minimum during organized activities in order to limit the spread of the virus and protect everyone’s health. Over the coming weeks, Quebecers are encouraged to stay in shape by carrying out informal activities individually, in pairs or together with the members of their household. Consult the resources for staying active outdoors or at home.

The restrictions with regard to travel between regions vary in accordance with the progressive regional alert and intervention system. For more information about the rules to follow, consult the Alert levels map.

Given that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher for team sports activities with opposing sides (e.g. where players who are guarding each other are more exposed), player position rotation is encouraged. Wherever possible, teams should also be composed of the same players. Lastly, the number of participants must allow for physical distancing, and certain activities must be adapted to limit prolonged contact between players.

Individuals who are at a higher risk of complications were they to contract COVID-19 (e.g. over 70 years of age, with a chronic illness, with a suppressed or weakened immune system) are encouraged to avoid travel and contact with others. If such a person still decides to participate in a gathering, they must strictly respect the .

Yes. It is recommended that the accompanying party be an individual residing under the same roof. If not, it is recommended that an accompanied person with a disability have their Companion Leisure Card (CLC) with them as a supporting document justifying their need for assistance. If physical distancing rules cannot be observed, the accompanying party must wear protective equipment.

Some individuals may be allowed to remove a face covering when carrying out high-intensity activities as part of a pair (e.g. tandem cycling team, visually impaired runner and their guide), provided the following conditions apply:

  • Neither of the two individuals exhibits symptoms nor has been instructed to self-isolate.
  • Neither of the two individuals has a chronic health condition or immunodeficiency that might put them at risk of complications if they were to contract COVID-19.
  • Neither of the two individuals is older than 70 years of age.
  • The respiratory hygiene (e.g. coughing or sneezing into elbow, wearing a mask during low-intensity activities), and hand hygiene (e.g. frequent handwashing before and after an activity) measures must be strictly respected.
  • Both individuals must avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Both individuals must be aware that the risks of transmitting or contracting COVID-19 are higher when they carry out such activities, due to the close proximity between them, the fact that they are not able to wear a mask or face covering, and the fact that the dispersal of droplets is more frequent during physical activity. During tandem cycling activities, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater for the person with a visual impairment seated in the back than for the guide in the front.
  • The pair should remain the same at all times, meaning that the individual who requires assistance should carry out their activities with the same guide or accompanying party.

Professional and semi-professional sporting events can only be held without spectators, whether the events are held indoors or outdoors.

From January 9, 2021, to February 8, 2021, a person who lives alone is permitted to participate in informal outdoor physical activities (e.g. walking, cross-country skiing, skating) with one other person, provided that a minimum distance of 2 metres is maintained at all times.

SÉPAQ

All organizations benefiting from the Festivals and Tourism Events Financial Assistance Program during the summer/fall 2020–2021 period will receive their first instalment (80% of the total grant amount) whether their activities have continued or not.

If applicable, the second instalment of up to 20% of the financial assistance will be disbursed based on the expenses incurred at the time the event is cancelled, upon receipt of supporting documents. Any amount paid in excess of the total costs incurred (including event-related expenses incurred after the cancellation date) will be recovered as required. Note that the total amount of government assistance will also be taken into account. 

As in previous years, the first payment, amounting to 80% of the financial assistance, will be disbursed after the agreement has been signed.

To take advantage of these relief measures, the promoter must have obtained financial assistance through the Festivals and Tourism Events Financial Assistance Program for a festival or an event to be held between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. These ad hoc measures have been adopted due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second instalment of up to 20% of the financial assistance will be disbursed based on the expenses incurred at the time the event is cancelled, upon receipt of supporting documents. Any amount paid in excess of the total costs incurred (including event-related expenses incurred after the cancellation date) will be recovered as required. Note that the total amount of government assistance will also be taken into account.

Financial assistance applications are still being reviewed in spite of the pandemic. You should get a response within the next few weeks.

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Communications Department of Ministère du Tourisme is not calling for the negotiation of a new visibility agreement. If the festival or event is held, last year’s visibility agreement will apply. If financial assistance is being provided for the first time, the Communications Department will contact the festival or event promoter to reach a verbal visibility agreement.

The financial assistance granted applies only to costs incurred for the 2020 edition, whether the event is cancelled or not. 

If you purchased tickets for an event that was cancelled as a result of a government order related to COVID-19, the merchant is normally required to reimburse you. The merchant may also offer a new date for the event. You are free to accept or decline this offer.

Also, you have the right to cancel ticket purchases made online, by phone or by mail, including through a reseller, if the event is no longer taking place.

For more information, visit the Office de la protection du consommateur This hyperlink will open in a new window. website.