Tourist activities

Sampling is still not allowed since it is like self-service buffets where customers must wait in line near food and utensils. This type of service is not authorized.

Yes. Since June 22, 2020, dining areas, including dining rooms and terraces, have been authorized to reopen. They must be organized to ensure that customers remain 2 metres apart, except in the case of the occupants of the same private residence or if a physical barrier that limits the contagion separates them.

An excursion is a one-day tourist trip lasting less than 24 hours. It does not include accommodation on the boat. Excursions are usually included in tourist circuits and discovery stays. Maritime excursions refer to nature-watching cruises on inflatable boats such as Zodiacs, or one-day cruises.

The resumption of maritime excursions will be authorized starting from that date to comply with the requirements of the federal Regulations Maintaining the Safety of Persons in Ports and the Seaway This hyperlink will open in a new window., adopted on March 18, 2020 to restrict access until July 1, 2020 by cruise ships carrying 500 or more passengers and crew to:

  • ports managed by port authorities;
  • public ports;
  • public port facilities;
  • the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Government of Canada's prohibition covers cruise ships offering accommodation. A maritime excursion is a one-day tourist trip lasting less than 24 hours. It does not include accommodation on the boat. Excursions are usually included in tourist circuits and discovery stays. Maritime excursions refer to nature-watching cruises on inflatable boats such as Zodiacs, or one-day cruises.

Moreover, the resumption of maritime excursions will be authorized starting from July 1, 2020 to comply with the requirements of the federal Regulations Maintaining the Safety of Persons in Ports and the Seaway This hyperlink will open in a new window., adopted on March 18, 2020 to restrict access until July 1, 2020 by cruise ships carrying 500 or more passengers and crew to:

  • ports managed by port authorities;
  • public ports;
  • public port facilities;
  • the St. Lawrence Seaway.

It is not advisable to travel in the same vehicle with someone who does not live at the same address since it is difficult in this case to observe the 2-metre rule.

Outdoor sports and leisure activities

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

The government has announced that workplaces offering indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities can reopen as of June 22, 2020. 

All indoor and outdoor physical, sports and leisure activities, without exception, must respect the current physical distancing measures, regardless of when or where they are carried out. 

During a game, it is permitted for individuals to make physical contact or come close together so long as it happens infrequently.

Since June 22, all indoor and outdoor sports and leisure activities carried out individually or in teams are permitted, provided that physical distancing rules and all the guidelines issued by the public health authorities are respected.

This resumption phase includes public and private pools, beaches and physical fitness centres. Owners and managers of these facilities are responsible for deciding whether or not to reopen them. 

The only direct physical contact that remains unauthorized is contact that occurs during matches in combat sports.  

Businesses and organizations may offer the permitted activities in all regions of Québec. 

It should be noted that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher for activities carried out indoors or in teams, regardless of the physical activity or sport in question. The risk is also higher for activities involving frequent or extended contact between players.

Activities must respect the current physical distancing measures, regardless of when or where they are carried out. However, during a game, it is permitted for individuals to make physical contact or come close together so long as it happens infrequently.

Yes, provided that the physical distancing rules in force are respected by participants, instructors, coaches and spectators, if applicable.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums must not have more than 50 spectators in the same area at the same time. The spectators must also maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres at all times.

Yes, provided that the physical distancing rules in force are respected by participants, instructors, coaches and spectators, if applicable.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

Team sports games may resume since June 22. During games, individuals are allowed to make physical contact or come close together so long as it is done infrequently and for short periods of time.

Given that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher for team sports activities with opposing sides (e.g. where players who stand out 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.

Owners of facilities that offer indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums as well as outdoor activities must ensure that no one spectator area has more than 250 people at a time and that spectators who are not from the same household respect physical distancing of 2 metres.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

Owners and managers of facilities and organizations responsible for the organization of activities must implement hygiene and protective measures in order to comply with the conditions set by the public health authorities.

In addition, the CNESST has produced the Occupational Health and Safety Standards Guide for the Leisure, Sports and Outdoor Recreation Sector – COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window.to ensure the safety of employees and users of facilities that are permitted to open.

Site managers may also limit the number of clients admitted, or even close a site, to ensure compliance with the recommendations issued by public health authorities.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

In addition, sports federations and provincial recreational and outdoor activity organizations have worked in collaboration with the Ministère in order to develop guidelines tailored to their respective fields and disciplines.

These organizations are responsible for informing their members of these guidelines and for making it clear that health and safety guidelines, especially hygiene rules, must be followed in order to ensure that activities are practised safely.

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 health recommendations for everyone This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Yes. In this and all other activity sectors, public health authorities are monitoring the daily evolution of the health situation in order to advise the government on the actions to be taken.

Public activities that are carried out in the form of competitions (e.g. leagues, recreational tournaments, events with standings) and that allow for the current physical distancing recommendations to be maintained are permitted.

The organizational procedures must be planned so as to minimize the number of people involved in holding the competition. The number of participants, accompanying persons and staff members present must be limited in order to enable the current physical distancing rules to be maintained at all times during activities, whether indoors or outdoors.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

For the moment, while travel between regions is permitted, individuals are asked to limit non-essential travel and to go directly to the location of their sports activity without stopping on the way. Once at this location, public health authority guidelines must be respected.

Sharing and renting equipment is not recommended at this time.

However, at facilities where equipment rentals are allowed, the equipment manager must establish procedures for cleaning, decontaminating and disinfecting the objects.

It is recommended that any shared objects and equipment, for example during group activities, be disinfected regularly, given that it is difficult to keep from touching one’s face, particularly in the context of physical and sports activities. Each participant should use their own equipment as much as possible.

Yes. Outdoor and indoor aquatic facilities and beaches can reopen.

Owners and managers determine how they enable participants to access their facilities, sites or equipment. In some cases, reservations may be required, while in others, access may be limited or provided on a priority basis.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

Yes. The owners and administrators of recreational and sports facilities (municipalities, educational institutions, private companies) have this authority. They can decide when to reopen their facilities and how to manage access in accordance with their resources and in compliance with current health measures.

Yes. However, the organizational procedures must be planned so as to minimize the number of people involved in holding such activities.

Indoor activities carried out in arenas, sports centres or gymnasiums and all outdoor activities must not have more than 250 spectators in the same area. Spectators who are not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of 2 metres at all times.

In addition, spectators must wear a mask or face covering when indoors. Masks or face coverings may only be taken off when spectators are seated and when the 2-metre physical distancing rule is followed (when circulating within the space, spectators must put their masks or face coverings back on).

It is also strongly recommended that these guidelines be followed during outdoor activities with spectators.

During a game, it is permitted for individuals to make physical contact or come close together so long as it happens infrequently.

Access to non-essential common areas that lend themselves to gathering is restricted and loitering around facility entrances and exits is not allowed.

For now, physical and sports activities that involve direct physical contact during a combat sports match remain unauthorized (e.g. wrestling matches or sparring in some martial arts such as judo and karate). 

Specific adaptations for these physical and sports activities may be required to limit the amount of prolonged contact between participants. Individuals carrying out these sports may resume their activities in the form of training sessions or by adapting the regulations to respect the current physical distancing rules. 

The government is permitting these activities to resume gradually in order to monitor the evolution of the health situation. The full resumption of these activities will be announced as soon as possible.

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.

Note that the CLC grants free admission to the accompanying party of a person with a disability and is recognized by leisure, cultural and tourist organizations.

The Association québécoise du loisir pour les personnes handicapées (AQLPH) is working with experts to produce a guide regarding assistance in leisure activities that complies with the guidelines issued by the public health authorities.

No. The government issues public health guidelines and recommendations regarding hygiene and safety that must be respected. In addition, it is progressively permitting public places to reopen for leisure, sports and outdoor activities (workplace). 

The organization, business or owner of a site is responsible for establishing a reopening plan that complies with current government guidelines. A reference guide produced by the CNESST This hyperlink will open in a new window. provides help in identifying the measures to be implemented.

Providing access to sanitary facilities is not recommended. However, should it be essential that some facilities (e.g. washrooms) be made available to participants, their use must be kept to a minimum and strict hygiene measures must be implemented. This decision falls under the responsibility of the owner or manager of the facility. Providing access to showers in the changing rooms is permitted, so long as physical distancing guidelines are followed and the area is cleaned regularly throughout the day.

The organization, business or owner of the site is responsible for establishing a reopening plan that complies with current government guidelines. A reference guide produced by the CNESST This hyperlink will open in a new window. provides help in identifying the measures to be implemented.

Organizations and owners who make their facilities available to the public must make sure that any training sessions or games respect the current physical distancing rules and that health measures are implemented.

Organizations offering a shuttle service must respect all the relevant rules governing public health and the use of public transport.

It is recommended that users follow the usual health guidelines, maintain a two‑metre physical distance between themselves and others wherever possible, and wear face coverings.

In addition, users are encouraged to change their regular schedules, if possible, in order to avoid crowds during rush-hour transportation.

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

Campground reopenings

All types of camper vehicles may be used in campgrounds, whether for a day or the whole season.

Yes, but only tent campers are allowed to use those washroom facilities still open.

The rules for washrooms will be adjusted over time.

Before washrooms may open, they must comply with the following measures:

  • All campers must wash their hands before entering
  • If possible, devices must be installed so that people can open doors with their feet
  • Capacities must be determined and displayed for each room in each washroom facility based on 2-metre social distancing
  • Washrooms must be cleaned and sanitized more frequently and adapted to meet all public health recommendations and requirements

Campers in accommodation units, trailers, or RVs that have their own washrooms must use those facilities exclusively.

The standards in effect are the same as for Sépaq facilities, i.e.,

  • Updated housekeeping standards for facilities and accommodation
  • More frequent cleaning and sanitizing of common areas, washrooms, and high-contact surfaces

No, these facilities are not yet allowed to open. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a date when they will be authorized to offer short-term stays. It is up to public health authorities to decide on appropriate measures for reopening tourism.

SÉPAQ

Sépaq is pleased to be able to begin gradually restoring access to its territories. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoors to the benefit of your physical and mental health. Sépaq has implemented exceptional measures to help you get back to nature in complete safety

For full details on the resumption of activities, visit Sépaq website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Tourist accommodations

No. Since July 10, 2020, it has no longer been mandatory to wait 24 hours to re-rent a unit after cleaning it for all categories of tourist accommodation establishments.

On June 11, 2020, the Minister of Tourism unveiled the tourism economic recovery plan that represents investments of nearly $753 million to help the tourism sector weather the crisis and prepare for the revival of its operations. The tourism economic recovery plan calls for:

  • $446 million to establish an emergency section intended for accommodation establishments and tourist attractions under the concerted temporary action program for business (PACTE). The objective is to offer businesses loans and loan guarantees under advantageous conditions;
  • $200 million in 2020-2021 to support business tourism in the hotel industry, one of the most profitable forms of tourism, under a new section in the Programme d'appui au développement des attraits touristiques (PADAT);
  • an additional $25 million ($15 million in 2020-2021 and $10 million in 2021-2022) to enhance the regional tourism partnership agreements (EPRTs);
  • $20 million to foster demand for Québec products (Explore Québec sur la route, a tourist attraction passport, and a 50% reduction on the purchase of an annual Sépaq card);
  • roughly $13.8 million for hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, a subsidy equivalent to the amount of the tourist accommodation tax paid for the first quarter of 2020.

Obviously, we continue to closely monitor the situation and other announcements may be forthcoming depending on future developments.

Moreover, other government measures are aimed at businesses in all areas of activity, including tourism.

Consult the policy of the collaborative accommodation platform in question. Most have agreed on support measures in relation to the current health crisis or provided for force majeure clauses.

The Consumer Protection Act is still in effect (CQLR, chapter P-40.1). However, the Gouvernement du Québec is asking business owners to be understanding, given the current situation. We suggest looking at your lease contract and going to the Office de la protection du consommateur website at www.opc.gouv.qc.ca This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Guides have been produced by Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) This hyperlink will open in a new window. and Institut national de santé publique This hyperlink will open in a new window.. Sector health guides are provided to operators to help them adapt their environment and procedures to ensure a healthy and safe environment for their staff and clients.

For example, it is recommended that you avoid performing housekeeping during the visitors’ stay and that you provide the necessary equipment and usual disinfectants so that they can carry out housekeeping.

Individuals wishing to go on vacation in another region can do so but are encouraged to abide by instructions to ensure safe vacations in Québec.

Yes. However, the dormitories must not accept more than 10 people, who must observe the 2-metre physical distancing rule.

The use of a communal kitchen is prohibited if clients from different households share it. In other common areas, the 2-metre physical distancing rule must be observed.

Yes. However, people 70 and over are at greater risk of complications due to COVID19. It is recommended that vulnerable individuals, including those 70 and over, take special care to avoid being contaminated. That includes keeping their interregional travel and contact with people who are not part of their households to a minimum.

Yes, provided that the instructions as concerning gatherings are observed.

Keep in mind that people who have the same address are considered part of the same household and that the public health guidelines must be followed, particularly the directives on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

People who don’t live at the same address are allowed to take part in tourism activities together provided they comply with social distancing requirements at all times as well as the rules for public gatherings, and provided the activity is on the Gouvernement du Québec’s list of authorized activities.

In these particular cases, penal provisions are provided for under the Public Health Act (CQLR, chapter S-2.2). If public health guidelines are not followed, the police may issue a ticket if the situation is denounced to them.

Festivals and tourism events

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 May 1 and October 31, 2020. These ad hoc measures have been adopted due to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Events that were scheduled to take place in March and April 2020, but were cancelled due to COVID-19 will also benefit from these measures.

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. 

Promoters will be able to submit new financial assistance applications for 2021 events this fall.

All organizations benefiting from Ministère du Tourisme’s Festivals and Tourism Events Financial Assistance Program during the 2020–2021 summer/fall period will receive their first instalment (80% of the total grant amount) whether their activities have continued or not, up to the actual costs incurred.

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.

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.

Yes, they are authorized. However, all instructions concerning gatherings in public places must be observed.

What is more, when a meal is served, the rules enacted for the food service industry apply. Dining rooms and terraces can be made accessible. They must be organized to ensure that customers remain 2 metres apart, except in the case of the occupants of the same private residence or if a physical barrier that limits the contagion separates them. Buffet and self-serve meals must be avoided.

As of August 5, 2020, the Québec government is authorizing festivals and events to engage in indoor and outdoor activities that assemble a maximum of 250 people, who must comply with all instructions This hyperlink will open in a new window. from public health authorities.

The promoters who organize outdoor activities must ensure compliance with the following health measures:

  • control entrances and exits; 
  • always ensure that the number of people present does not exceed 250; 
  • promote the maintenance of a distance of 2 metres between participants.

If a festival proposes more than one site, the sites must be separate and non-contiguous, with separate access and waiting areas.

Promoters who organize indoor activities must ensure compliance with all instructions This hyperlink will open in a new window. from public health authorities concerning gatherings in indoor public spaces:

  • control entrances and exits;
  • always ensure that the number of people present does not exceed 250;
  • make mandatory the use of face coverings for everyone 12 years of age and over;
  • promote the maintenance of a distance of:
    • 2 metres between participants when they are standing up;
    • 1.5 metres between participants when they are seated in auditoriums or film theatres, except for individuals from the same household.

Seated spectators can remove their masks or face coverings but must put them on when moving around.

The situation is changing from day to day. For the time being, it is impossible to foresee what will happen in the fall or winter. It is also hard to predict when bigger gatherings will be authorized.