Private gatherings in homes
Weather permitting, outdoor gatherings are allowed and are preferable. Indoor gatherings are also now allowed throughout the territory of Québec. Gatherings, be they indoor or outdoor, are however allowed provided the following measures are observed:
- gatherings must be limited to no more than 10 people. Furthermore, it is requested that they include people from no more than 3 households. Remember that people who live at the same address form a household.
- a distance of at least 2 metres must be kept between people who are not from the same household. If the recommended physical distance cannot be maintained, the number of guests must be reduced.
- the use of a mask or face covering is strongly recommended when it is not possible to keep a distance of 2 metres from other people.
- people who have been diagnosed with COVID‑19, who are waiting on a result, who have symptoms of COVID‑19 or who were told to self-isolate must not participate in a gathering. This applies to the person hosting a gathering, guests and people who live in the same household.
- the person hosting the gathering and guests must follow the health recommendations for everyone.
People who are more at risk of developing complications if they catch COVID‑19, that is, people who are 70 years of age or older, people who have chronic diseases or a weakened or compromised immune system, are advised to limit their movements and avoid contact with other people. If a person who is at risk nonetheless decides to participate in a gathering, they must rigorously follow the health recommendations for everyone.
Recommendations for the host
To keep everyone safe, the person who is hosting a gathering should apply the following measures:
- ask your guests to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub when they arrive and as often as necessary.
- suggest alternative greetings without contact and avoid handshakes and hugs, even with children.
- clean high-touch surfaces (door handles, switches, etc.) before your guests arrive and frequently while they are in your home.
- keep a bathroom for your guests’ use if possible; clean the bathroom before they arrive. If the same bathroom is used by more than one household, clean high-touch surfaces frequently during the event.
- provide tissues for your guests. Ask them to throw their tissues in a trash container after use and to wash their hands afterwards.
- keep the windows open to ensure good air flow in the home, weather permitting. Avoid using air conditioners or fans that blow air directly on people.
- if you are having a meal, sit people from the same household together at the table.
- make sure the meal is served by only one person and that they washed their hands properly first.
- during the meal, avoid sharing items as much as possible:
- Sauces and condiments must be served in individual containers;
- Glasses must be identified with the guest’s name;
- Avoid dishes that are shared, such as dips and vegetables;
- Utensils and damp cloths must be used by only one person;
- Avoid buffet-style or self-serve meals.
- after the meal, wash the dishes with soap and hot water, by hand or in the dishwasher.
- write down the guests’ names, the date they visited and the activities you did. This information may be useful to regional public health authorities if one of your guests is diagnosed with COVID‑19 in the days after the visit.
Recommendations for children
Children who have COVID‑19 often have few symptoms or no symptoms at all, but they could still spread the disease. In general, your child should avoid hugging visitors, especially if they are vulnerable.
Practicing physical distancing of 2 metres at all times is the main measure to follow to keep your family and your guests safe.
However, between children age 16 and under, a physical distancing of 1 metre applies. Children are also allowed to share their toys, although it is preferable to avoid doing so, especially when children bring toys to their mouth. In all cases, toys should be disinfected before and after use. For this reason, it is recommended that you use toys that are easy to clean. In addition, it is recommended that children wash their hands before and after sharing toys.
Gatherings in public places
By now, indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed in some public places. As in other circumstances, a distance of 2 metres between people is required.
A distance of 1.5 metres between people will apply in places where people are seated, are relatively stationary and do not talk much or at all, for example, in performance venues, movie theatres and audiovisual recording studios.
Physical distancing of 1.5 metres will apply only to the audience or users. Artists, entertainers or hosts, etc. will have to keep 2 metres apart.
As for gatherings in private places, physical distancing will not apply to people from the same household.
In places where there is more movement, such as common areas or queues, people will still have to keep 2 metres apart. In these circumstances, wearing a mask or face covering is also recommended and the health recommendations must be followed.
Please note that the following activities remain prohibited:
- festivals and major events;
- regular vacation camps with stays;
- fight sports.
In order to avoid overloading the telephone lines of 911 emergency centres, citizens are asked not to call 911 to report a gathering.
If you witness a serious situation that requires police intervention, you may contact the police department serving your area (French only).
Education and information are the approaches favoured by all police forces in Québec at the present time. Police officers are on duty and will continue to intervene, while respecting the powers granted to them in the context of a health emergency.
Last update: June 16, 2020