Tourism 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 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.

Tourist accomodations

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.

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

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.

Financial assistance

The analysis of applications for financial assistance is continuing. The Ministère du Tourisme is ensuring they are processed as soon as possible, but the current situation may cause certain delays.

However, until further notice, although we are still reviewing incoming applications, no new projects will be accepted for the Tourism Development Strategy Support Program (PSSDT).