Stores opening

The owners of commercial buildings in Québec who have already applied under the CECRA will obtain an additional reimbursement. Details concerning the reimbursement will be announced shortly. If you have not already submitted your application This hyperlink will open in a new window., do so promptly.

The Québec government has authorized the reopening of all economic activity sectors, except:

  • festivals and major events;
  • professional sports with spectators;
  • regular vacation camps with accommodation.

Other businesses and enterprises that were subject to prohibitions can now resume their activities throughout Québec.

For additional information, please visit Reopening and maintaining economic activities This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Yes, all commercial enterprises, whether they are in a shopping centre, are now resuming their operations according to the usual business hours, in accordance with the Act respecting hours and days of admission to commercial establishments This hyperlink will open in a new window. (CQLR, chapter H-2.1).

Yes, e-commerce is always authorized.

Each commercial enterprise must implement the preventive measures recommended by public health authorities and occupational health and safety specialists This hyperlink will open in a new window.. The measures include a limited number of customers in the stores and the shopping centre, full barriers at cash registers, information booths and restaurant service counters, and one-way traffic as far as possible.

Please consult the tools for the retail trade sector This hyperlink will open in a new window. to obtain additional information.

Yes, inspectors from the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and police services will ensure compliance with the preventive measures.

In all regions, customers can use the dining areas, provided that the dining areas comply with the conditions stipulated by public health authorities.

The use of masks or face covers is strongly recommended in public venues.

Resumption of on-site catering services

Yes. Restaurant owners can open their food service premises, including dining rooms and terraces. The premises 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.

To obtain additional information on the protective measures that must be implemented to protect the health of the population during restaurant visits, please visit Directives de santé publique concernant la réouverture des salles à manger et des autres lieux de consommation du secteur de la restauration This hyperlink will open in a new window..

To obtain information on the tools intended for the restaurant industry, please visit trousse de la Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Yes, as long as they are set up in compliance with the conditions outlined by public health.

Yes, assuming applicable gathering rules inside private residences are respected. For more information, please visit the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux website.

The government has announced the reopening of businesses and enterprises to which prohibitions still applied, including bars.

The following measures will be in force in bars to reduce customer traffic and avoid an upsurge in the virus’ spread:

  • the operating hours of the holders of bar permits issued by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (RACJ) will be restricted. Bars must stop selling alcoholic beverages at midnight instead of 3 a.m. and customers must also have left bars not later than 1 a.m;
  • the reception capacity will be restricted to 50% of the capacity indicated on the liquor licence;
  • dancing is prohibited and customers must be seated to consume alcohol;
  • bar owners must establish a register that records customers’ contact information or have a group of customers designate a person to facilitate epidemiological follow-up in the event of outbreaks. The process will, obviously, comply with privacy rules.

For more information, go to the page Reopening and maintaining economic activities.

Restaurant owners must prohibit access to these areas and equipment unless they are serving customers through an attendant. Retailers must also avoid selling unpackaged self-service food (except for fresh fruit and vegetables), unless enhanced hygiene measures are in place:

  • additional physical protection (containers, sneeze-guard, automatic dispenser)
  • measures implemented for hand-washing nearby or service by an attendant
  • increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection of frequently handled or exposed surfaces: directly handled surfaces that are not near a hand washing/disinfecting station should be cleaned between each customer.

Automatic dispensers such as fountain drink, slushie and coffee machines can be used by customers if a hand washing or disinfection station is set up nearby and cups, lids, straws and other items are provided by an attendant. A sign should also direct customers not to reuse cups.

These devices need to be frequently disinfected throughout the day, like other frequently touched surfaces.

Cleaning and disinfection of tables, chairs and menus should be performed after each customer. Seasonings (salt, pepper, sugar, oils, spices, etc.) or other objects (games, newspapers, etc.) should be removed from the tables.

In order to respect the instructions of physical distance, the use of outdoor areas is to be preferred for eating.

Yes, a maximum number of 10 people per table is allowed.

Yes, it will be possible to eat together, but within a physical distance of two metres.

The tables should be spaced sufficiently far apart to apply the physical distance.

Screens or transparent dividers between the tables could be considered. Benches may also be considered as barriers, provided they exceed the height of the head of the customers when seated. It should be noted that the Association Restauration Québec is aware of these measures and has provided for appropriate arrangements.

There is no provision for restaurant operators to verify customers' addresses. The guidelines must be followed by everyone, as is the case for other public places.

The government supports businesses in the catering sector and their workers to ensure that health standards are met.

A COVID-19 toolkit This hyperlink will open in a new window. with a specific health standards guide and checklist has been prepared by the CNESST for the catering sector. This kit provides details on the preventive measures to be implemented to protect the health and safety of personnel, particularly to properly manage contacts between customers and personnel.

In addition, more than 1,000 officers have been deployed since lifting lockdown measures were introduced to raise awareness and provide information on preventive measures to be implemented.

If you notice a lack of compliance with public health measures, such as physical distancing, you can report the situation by contacting the police department in your area.

A worker can file a complaint or report a dangerous situation to CNESST, if necessary. This complaint will be processed to assess the risk of the situation and determine the need for corrective or control measures. You should call CNESST at 1-844-838-0808 (option 1).

A toolkit containing a specific health standards guide and a checklist have been prepared by CNESST for the restaurant sector to support the management of occupational health and safety in the environment.

The kit details the preventive measures to be implemented to reduce and control the risks associated with COVID-19, whether it involves staff contact with customers or between workers.

Here are some of the recommendations from the "Guide to Occupational Health Standards – COVID-19":

  • Wearing a procedure mask and eye protection is required whenever the physical distance of two metres is not maintained. In addition, there should be limited exchange of objects with customers. For example, it is recommended that menus be displayed on slates or screens.
  • The rule of physical distance requires limiting the number of clients, whether inside the establishment or outside on a terrace.
  • The physical distance of two metres between staff members and clients should remain in effect, as well as for clients from each other.
  • For restaurants offering buffet service, staff will be required to serve the customer according to the same guidelines.

For a complete set of recommendations and to download the CNESST toolkit for the catering sector: https://www.cnesst.gouv.qc.ca/salle-de-presse/covid-19/Pages/outils-restauration.aspx This hyperlink will open in a new window..

The protection measures must be implemented to protect the health of the population when visiting food-service locations. They are available on the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux This hyperlink will open in a new window. website.

Since parliamentary deliberations concerning Bill 61 have not been completed and the legislation has not yet been adopted and assented to, the measures that it stipulates are not in force.

To obtain information on Bill 61 and to follow the attendant parliamentary deliberations, please visit the National Assembly of Québec website This hyperlink will open in a new window..

The RACJ will adopt a streamlined process for licensees, whether to modify or expand a site or to obtain authorization to temporarily operate a liquor permit for a terrace in the context of COVID-19. Contractors will be able to run temporary terraces in order to provide customer service, in compliance with health standards established by the Public Health Branch and in accordance with their municipality's regulations.

To find out about the simplified terms and conditions for terrace permits: https://www.racj.gouv.qc.ca/communications/communiques-aux-titulaires/detail/covid-19-modalites-allegees-concernant-les-permis-de-terrasse.html This hyperlink will open in a new window..

No, since measures will be implemented to ensure that physical distance between the interior and exterior of the restaurant is respected, thereby limiting the number of customers.

There will be no specific program for restaurant owners, as there are many programmes This hyperlink will open in a new window. already in place for both employers and employees.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19. There is no requirement for additional staff.

Efforts in food establishments to conduct food safety monitoring must continue.

Activities and commercial services

Public spaces

Outdoor gatherings are permitted provided that the following measures are observed:

  • gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 10 people from not more than three households. As a reminder, those people living at the same address form a household.
  • a distance of at least 2 metres must be kept between those people who are not from the same household.
  • the use of a face covering is strongly recommended.

In order to protect Quebecers, the Gouvernement du Québec is prohibiting indoor gatherings, except:

  • those required in a workplace that is not subject to a Québec government suspension, provided that the employees maintain as far as possible a minimum distance of 2 metres between them;
  • in a public space in order to obtain a service or goods such as stores and government services and that is not subject to a Québec government suspension, provided that the customers maintain as far as possible a minimum distance of 2 metres between them;
  • in a means of transportation, provided that the users maintain as far as possible a minimum distance of 2 metres between them;
  • a gathering that assembles the occupants of a private home or a site that serves this purpose and any other person who offers a service or whose support is required. Individuals who offer a service or support must maintain as far as possible a minimum distance of 2 metres between them and the occupants.

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

Consumers

To obtain food, it is recommended to people 70 years of age or older that they use home delivery services or ask a friend or relative to do the shopping for them.

If this is not possible, they can go to the site while always following the health instructions that apply to the entire population. People 70 years of age or older should go shopping during low-traffic hours or take advantage of the reserved time slots offered by certain merchants.

Québec consumers are urged to buy local. By doing this, they support local producers, processors and businesses and contribute to economic vitality and ongoing activity in the sector.

Consult the Le Panier bleu  This hyperlink will open in a new window.website.

Together, through their choices, businesses and consumers promote the diversity of Québec’s slate of food products.

  • Choose products from Québec when making your purchases. Various markings make it easy to identify these products in store. You can find out more on the Aliments du Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window. website;
  • Shop in local grocery stores or directly at local agricultural or food processing businesses. Le Panier bleu This hyperlink will open in a new window. is a new reference platform that helps you locate local businesses. You can also visit the Savourez votre région This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.
  • Make local products more interesting by trying new recipes using local produce. Find some examples on the Aliments du Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window. website.
  • Do not waste food at home. Find some tricks and tips on the Gaspillage alimentaire : comment l'éviter? This hyperlink will open in a new window. section.
  • Help a community organization (Je bénévole.ca This hyperlink will open in a new window.), agri-food businesses (Centre d'emploi agricole This hyperlink will open in a new window.) or food establishments and retail companies (À table! Emplois This hyperlink will open in a new window.). You can work there, but you can also volunteer your time if you wish. Contact organizations and businesses in your community for more information.
  • Treat yourself or your loved ones. Many companies are offering delivery or take-out services during the lockdown. Ask your sugar shack, restaurant, bakery, chocolate store or any other business you like. Many have launched some great initiatives at the moment.
  • You might be tempted to increase your self-sufficiency by turning to a garden or a private farm. You can also find out about community gardens. To get started, consult the Guide de l'agriculture urbaine This hyperlink will open in a new window..
  • If you like the idea of keeping urban chickens (poules en ville This hyperlink will open in a new window.) or any other animal species, never act on a whim. Chickens , like all other farm animals, require constant care to ensure their welfare. This type of farming is sometimes permitted by municipalities, you must be well informed before embarking on such a project, particularly with regard to the applicable regulations, the animals’ specific needs, and the availability of veterinary care in your region for the species you intend to keep. Before you start planning, you can consult the Guide de l'agriculture urbaine This hyperlink will open in a new window..

The food industry is facing significant challenges right now. The government is in daily talks with all stakeholders in the agri-food chain.

In the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing, it is possible that food product prices will fluctuate. 

We wish to underscore that there is no food or sanitary product shortage in sight.

Instructions to follow when consumers go to retail stores are available on the website of the Retail Council of Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Although it is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object where the virus is found and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, this is not the primary means of transmission. 

Many viruses from the coronavirus family can survive on surfaces for a duration ranging anywhere from two hours up to nine days, depending on the type of surface and the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, etc.). However, you do not need to wash all your purchases. The key is washing your hands often, once you return home and after you have put your groceries away. As always, you should wash your hands before cooking and before eating.

For more information, watch the Hygiene tips at the grocery store and for fruits and vegetables This hyperlink will open in a new window. video.

No. However, fruits and vegetables must always be washed before being eaten, as you would normally do. All you need do is wash the produce with water and scrub the surfaces. There is no need for detergent.

In fact, packaging of fruits and vegetables increases the amount of handling by food establishment operators, which is not something we want. Consumers must also follow the respiratory etiquette concerning unpackaged food such as fruits and vegetables.

Using soap to wash hands has proven its usefulness, whereas this is not the case for fruits and vegetables.

Studies on fruits and vegetables involve even more variables like the type of fruit or vegetable, the type of detergent used, the type of targeted contaminants (chemicals like pesticides or microbiological contaminants). Consequently, the results of these studies are rarely unequivocal.

The theory that applies to washing hands with soap may also be appropriate for washing fruits and vegetables (among other things, because of the surface tension effect or wetting power of soap, which dislodges dirt and contaminants) There is a risk of leaving soap or detergent residues on fruits and vegetables especially those with rough or porous surfaces or if the peel is eaten, which is undesirable. Unlike dishes, fruits and vegetables are porous and residues can easily stay on them.

Ultimately, if we compare the risks and benefits, it is wiser to only rinse and scrub fruits and vegetables, when possible, whereas washing hands with soap is advisable.

The coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets or by touching surfaces or utensils that may be contaminated with droplets. It is possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object where the virus is found and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not the primary means of transmission.

Whenever possible, avoid handling packages while eating (or after washing your hands). Wash your hands when there is a risk of contamination. The following steps are therefore recommended (this is just one example of the many possible types of meals to be delivered):

  1. Pick up the delivery boxes and place them on a counter;
  2. Open the boxes;
  3. Wash your hands;
  4. Using utensils, transfer the food onto plates.  Even if this is not possible and the packaging is not handled (e.g., cardboard plate), the risk of contamination is still reduced;
  5. Dispose of delivery boxes (recycling, garbage or compost);
  6. Wash and disinfect the counter;
  7. Wash your hands before eating.

It is also important that good hygiene practices, food safety practices and safe cooking be followed.  These practices generally minimize the risks of contamination or transmission of foodborne illnesses.

Yes. Firstly, it’s important to follow the general precautions for donating food. There are also additional precautions required.

For people donating food:

You can prepare food for others by ensuring that normal hygiene measures are followed (washing hands and surfaces before cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, etc.). It’s also important to pay attention to containers and other objects that the recipient will handle. For example, using a container straight from the dishwasher or a new bag is preferable. This will ensure that the containers have not been handled in the meantime.

For more details on donating food, consult the page Dons d'aliments This hyperlink will open in a new window. (French only).

For those in charge of the community fridge:

You must monitor fridge traffic and set up a way to manage lines, if necessary. Hand sanitizer must also be available nearby, which donors and users should be encouraged to use.

You must disinfect handles and doors, as well as any other surface that is frequently touched. Lastly, you must ensure regular rotation of the food placed inside the refrigerator and clean the inside of the appliance according to the frequency of use.

To clean household surfaces, a solution of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite is recommended. That means 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of domestic bleach in 1 litre of water. It is best to prepare a new diluted solution every day and not to mix bleach with any other cleaning products.

A 0.1% hypochlorite solution is sufficient to eliminate viruses such as coronavirus, which is less resistant than other pathogenic microorganisms.

This is in line with current scientific literature on coronavirus and complies with recommendations from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This hyperlink will open in a new window.).

In the current context and according to the available scientific data, the proportions usually recommended (1:200) must be increased to 1:50 (equivalent to a 0.1% solution of sodium hypochlorite) as a precautionary measure. When a solution of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite is used on food contact surfaces, those surfaces must also be rinsed off to limit the risks of chemical hazards.

We are monitoring the scientific data on the subject.

You can bring your reusable bags to a retailer, but you must pack up your own purchases.

To limit handling and the spread of the virus, the INSPQ recommends not offering packing or bagging services in general.

A company can choose to offer packing or bagging services using only the bags or boxes they have in-store. This has the effect of limiting worker contact with potentially contaminated objects, all while expediting customer service and limiting the time customers spend next to the cash registers.

Likewise, boxes that are brought in by consumers should only be handled by them.  Thus, depending on the nature of the business and the facilities on site, companies may choose to suspend the practice of allowing the use of personal boxes to prevent undue risk of exposure to whomever handles them.

Restaurants offering food or meals for takeout can choose whether or not to make their washrooms accessible to the public.

If they do so, operators must then implement and execute a thorough cleaning procedure for surfaces most exposed to the public. It is not recommended to make restrooms meant exclusively for staff available to the public.

The coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets. It is also possible to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object where the virus is found and then bringing your hand to your mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not the primary means of transmission. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, persons who are symptomatic or in preventive isolation should avoid handling or preparing food for others.

Alternatively, we can prepare food for others by ensuring that normal hygiene measures are followed (washing hands and surfaces before cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, etc.). We should also pay attention to containers and other objects that the recipient will handle. For example, the use of a container from the dishwasher or a new bag is preferable. This will ensure that the containers have not been handled in the interval. The dish can be placed on a surface when delivered to the recipient’s residence and the recipient can then pick it up later. As always, the person should wash their hands before eating.

These rules are the same for everyone, regardless of the age of the recipients.

Food

At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19. You should continue to wash fruits and vegetables as usual and to follow good hygiene practices during food preparation. 

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

Freezing is not a good way to neutralize the virus. In fact, the virus might be able to survive the cold on a dry surface.

However, the virus is destroyed at high temperatures, for instance when food is microwaved at the highest setting or cooked in the oven.

The virus is not spread through what we eat or drink, but by infected droplets that we breathe in or that come in contact with the mucous membranes of our eyes.

Anyone who has symptoms must stay at home. It is important to stay two metres (over 6 feet) away from the person in front of you in the queue. Some stores have marked off the floor to make sure that people comply with physical distancing.

Owners or custodians of animals

With an animal free in the house, it can be challenging to avoid contact with it and to respect hygiene measures regarding it as you would with people around you. However, you must avoid direct contact like petting it, allowing it to lick you, carrying it or letting it sit on your lap. You must also avoid sharing food, your bed and the bathroom.

To make following these self-isolation instructions easier, you can put your animal in a cage or crate suitable for it or keep it in a room designated for it alone. Otherwise, you can restrict its access to the bedroom and bathroom by keeping the door closed behind you and picking up your food and dishes as soon as you finish eating or drinking.

If you followed the self-isolation instructions, your animal may interact with other animals and people again.

However, if you came into direct, unprotected contact with your animal during your self-isolation period, continue to limit contact between your animal and other animals or people for a period of 14 days after this contact. If possible, keep your animals indoors. Outdoors, use a leash or a private, fenced space.

No. Having an animal wear a mask for face covering is unhelpful and could cause them stress or other problems. This recommendation is for people only. It aims to reduce the risk of the person wearing the face covering of transmitting COVID-19 to others.

Companies offering services for animals must reassess their work practices and implement measures intended to ensure the health and safety of workers and clients, in accordance with the recommendations of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), as well as hygiene instructions recommended by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS). Additionally, you may find that reading through the Interim Recommendations for Veterinary Care Workers This hyperlink will open in a new window. document is helpful.

Businesses that provide care to live, captive animals, such as animal shelters or kennels, as well as stores that provide animal feed and supplies, are recognized as providing essential services.

Breeders raising animals for sale, particularly those operating out of private homes, as well as their suppliers, such as businesses specializing in reproductive services, can resume their activities.

Therapeutic care and grooming services for animals have been available again since June 1st.

Sports, recreational and outdoor activities are possible (lessons, agility or obedience classes, training, local competitions), as long as they take place outdoors and the two-metre physical distance between participants is maintained at all times. The information is published on the following Resumption of outdoor recreational, sports and leisure activities during COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window. page as well as in the Q&A This hyperlink will open in a new window. on this topic.

See also this page: Travelling from one region to another or from one city to another during the COVID-19 pandemic This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Yes, the boarding establishments can take care of new animals.

Animal boarding establishments need to reassess their practices and introduce measures to promote public health, as recommended by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) and the hygiene measures recommended by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS). 

Yes. Owners of a boarded animal can access the premises where their pet is kept to provide care for the animal's well-being or to check whether such care is being provided by the boarding establishment. In these circumstances, it is important to comply with the health measures and instructions in force in order to promote public health.

Horse owners (individuals or owners of an equestrian business) are allowed to ride horses for the purpose of providing physical exercise to the animals, while respecting existing health measures and guidelines designed to promote public health.

The independent and unorganized practice of outdoor horseback riding is permitted, in the same way as outdoor activities (lessons, training, local competitions), as long as the two-metre physical distance between participants is always maintained and the rules established for permitted outdoor gatherings are followed.

Find more information on the Resumption of Outdoor Recreational, Sports and Leisure Activities during COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window. page.

The government has implemented a variety of economic measures to support business and commerce, including those that are considered nonessential. Some of these measures could therefore apply depending on the activities concerned.

The current health crisis could have repercussions on pets and animals for leisure activities. Despite this context, it is essential that pets and animals for leisure activities continue to receive the basic care to which they are entitled (e.g., sufficient and proper nutrition, adequate shelter).

If an animal's owner is no longer able to provide this care or if he is unable to pay for the care provided by his animal's caretaker (e.g.: boarded horse), he/she must act and make responsible choices to limit the negative effects of his/her situation on his/her animal.

Animal shelters (e.g. animal services, SPA or SPCA) are considered as providing essential services.  They can be contacted by owners needing to give away their pets.

Shelters must also provide the required care for the animals in their care.  However, their care capacity may be reduced due to the current crisis. Cooperation on the part of all stakeholders is needed to limit cases of euthanasia of animals where alternatives are available.

Yes, you are allowed to purchase or adopt animals. However, there are many aspects you need to consider before bringing a pet into your home. Dogs live for 12 years on average, and cats for 15. So you will be responsible for it for many years. The MAPAQ website offers many tips on responsible pet adoption This hyperlink will open in a new window..

When you adopt an animal, make sure that all parties concerned follow social distancing rules, and inquire about other hygiene instructions recommended by the  Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS).

Yes. Although veterinary services are priority activities, veterinarians should follow guidelines established by their professional association and use their professional judgment to resume their activities gradually while taking into consideration the potential impact on public health. Contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet or if you wish to use his or the services.

It is important to adopt preventive measures during the visit, such as:

  • minimizing the number of people present on the premises when the veterinarian is working,
  • respecting the rules of social distancing,
  • making available the items necessary for effective disinfection of instruments and people (clean location, water, etc.).

Yes. Grouping inseminations (by synchronizing timing) at a set time of the week is recommended, when possible, in order to limit visits.

The hygiene measures recommended by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux and the Interim Recommendations for Agricultural Workers in Crop and Livestock Production This hyperlink will open in a new window. of the Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec (INSPQ) should be implemented.