Health recommendations for everyone
- Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette:
- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
- If you are sick, avoid contact with more vulnerable people, including older adults and people with a weak immune system or a chronic disease. For example, avoid visiting people in hospital, people living in residential and long-term care centres or in private residences.
- Avoid direct contact when you greet someone, such as shaking hands, and use alternative ways to greet people.
Every individual has their part to play to reduce the risk of spreading viruses.
Masks are not an effective means of protection for the general public. Their use is indicated more for patients who are suspected of being infected and for the health professionals who are providing care for them. You can watch the message from Dr. Horacio Arruda (French only), Québec Director of Public Health, on the topic.
If you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus, you can contact the toll-free line 1 877 644-4545. To help you minimize the repercussions of these kinds of reactions on your life, see the Stress, Anxiety and Depression Associated With the Coronavirus COVID-19 Disease.
Recommendations for Food Establishments
To find out what must be done when a food handler tests positive for COVID-19, please examine the Guidance for Industry: What to do when someone tests positive for COVID-19 in a food establishment (PDF 166 Kb).
Food establishments can comply with the recommendations and adopt good practices to protect their clientele and employees. Consult the document Recommendations for food establishment merchants (PDF 104 Kb).
Additional information is also available in the COVID-19 - Questions-réponses pour les clientèles .
Avoid travelling from one region to another or from one city to another
All Quebecers are being asked to avoid travelling from one region to another or from one city to another, except where necessary. Such travel should be confined to trips for medical reasons and work when teleworking is not possible.
To this end, to protect certain regions that are more vulnerable, checkpoints will be set up on roads leading to the following health regions and territories:
- The residents of the territory of the Parish Municipality of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs in the Bas-Saint-Laurent health region are also confined there and may only leave the territory for humanitarian reasons, to work or to practice their profession in a workplace whose activities have not been suspended, or to obtain the care or services that their health status requires.
- Cree Territory of James Bay;
- Regional County Municipalities of Autray, Joliette, Matawinie and Montcalm in the Lanaudière region;
- Regional County Municipalities of Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, Les-Pays-d’en-Haut and Les Laurentides in the Laurentides region;
- Agglomeration of La Tuque in the Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec region;
- Regional County Municipalities of Charlevoix and Charlevoix-Est in the Capitale-Nationale region;
- Region County Municipalities of Bellechasse, L’Islet and Montmagny in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.
At these various checkpoints, police officers will restrict entry and exit from these regions and authorize only essential travel. In order to validate the appropriateness of a person's travel, the police may ask them to provide certain supporting documents, such as proof of residence, a driver's licence, or a document provided by an employer. Of course, police officers will always be able to use their discretion in making a decision.
Where a business must resort to fly-in/fly-out regional air transport within Québec for its workeres, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) recommends applying the following mitigation measures to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19:
- reduce the number of workers per aircraft;
- segregate workers displaying symptoms or who have had contact with a case prior to boarding;
- exclude workers who display comorbidity factors;
- apply strict social distancing measures;
- limit the number of people in common areas;
- disinfect more frequently;
- provide for isolation measures for workers who appear to be developing symptoms in the workplace;
- monitor symptoms;
- implement adapted, adequate health services;
- provide for emergency transportation if need be.
For citizens returning from travelling
Anyone returning from a stay outside Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. Such isolation covers both travellers who are sick or display symptoms and those who do not have symptoms and are in perfect health. Such individuals must not at any time go outside, even for a walk.
Anyone who does not comply with these instructions commits an offence under the federal legislation and is liable to penalties .
To remind people who are returning to the country of these obligations, police checkpoints will be established near the US border.
It should be noted that businesses that deliver goods from abroad in Québec do not have to ask their employees to temporarily self-isolate.
Individuals who are returning from outside Canada and are in self-isolation at home must abide by the advice indicated below.
Stay at home
- Do not go to school, to work, to a childcare centre or a day care centre or to any other public space.
- Do not go out for a walk or to walk the dog.
- Do not use public transport.
- Postpone all non-urgent medical appointments.
- Do not receive visitors at home.
Call 1-877-644-4545 if you have a cough, fever, difficulty breathing or sudden loss of sense of smell without nasal congestion, with or without loss of taste.
- Do not go to a medical clinic unless you have first obtained an appointment.
- If your condition allows you to do so, call 1-877-644-4545. If you are a traveller who has returned within less than 14 days, mention it.
- Visit the emergency room only if you have difficulty breathing (you have difficulty breathing when resting or are unable to breathe when lying down).
If you are living with other people who have not travelled
- If you do not have a cough, fever, difficulty breathing or sudden loss of sense of smell without nasal congestion, with or without loss of taste, no other specific measure needs to be adopted. Wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing personal items such as towels, utensils and glasses.
- If you have a cough, fever, difficulty breathing or sudden loss of sense of smell without nasal congestion, with or without loss of taste, contact 1-877-644-4545 and until you receive advice:
- do not receive visitors in the home;
- remain alone in one room of the house as often as possible and close the door;
- eat and sleep alone in one room of the house;
- if possible use a bathroom reserved for your sole use. Otherwise, disinfect it after each use;
- avoid as much as possible contact with other people in the home. If this is impossible, wear a mask. If a mask is not available, stay at least 2 metres (the length of a big dining table) away from other people;
- use disposable tissues to cough, blow your nose or sneeze;
- discard the tissues in the garbage and wash your hands with soap and water;
- if you do not have disposable tissues, cough or sneeze in the crook of your arm.
You can contact the Info-Social 811 service (24/7 psychosocial telephone consultation)
Contact the Info-Social 811 service if you are experiencing:
- stress or anxiety;
- persistent emotional reactions (frequent crying, irritability, and so on);
- invasive, frightening ideas that you are constantly turning over in your mind;
- social repercussions of the disease.
Psychosocial intervention professionals will offer you support and provide information and advice according to your needs.
Gatherings and events
In order to protect Quebecers, the Gouvernement du Québec is from now on prohibiting indoor and outdoor gatherings.
The prohibition applies to all indoor and outdoor 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.
Outdoor gatherings are permitted in the case of the occupants of the same residence or a site that serves this purpose or when one person receives from another person a service or support. They are also permitted with other people when a minimum distance of 2 metres is maintained between all the individuals, unless they are the occupants of the same private home or a site that serves this purpose or one person receives from another person a service or support.
For more information, please consult Order in Council 222-2020 (PDF 52 Kb).
Anyone who fails to abide by these instructions is liable to a fine.
Hospitals, residential and long-term care centres and other establishments for seniors and vulnerable adults
Starting March 14, 2020, non-essential visits to hospitals, residential and long-term car centres, intermediate resources, targeted family-type resources and private senior’s residence will be prohibited to protect the most vulnerable individuals and workers in the health and social services network.
Since March 23, 2020, a lockdown has been in place for anyone who lives in a residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD) or a private seniors’ residence (PSR), regardless of the person’s age. In intermediate resources and family-type resources (IR-FTR), this order applies to anyone who has a health condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19.
The restriction is lifted temporarily for people who, for example, have to go out for health care or an essential health-related service or for humanitarian reasons.
Outings are allowed but must be supervised.
In addition, when people return to where they live, all infection prevention and control measures must be rigorously applied.
These extraordinary measures are intended to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux will identify partners who can offer services to help people who do not have family or friends or other ways of getting groceries and essential items.
Adults who are 70 years of age or older are most at risk of dying from complications of COVID-19. To protect their health, people 70 years of age and over are asked to stay home, except in cases of necessity or exceptional circumstances such as an important medical appointment.
Some essential workers are not required to follow the stay-at-home order. In this case, the risk for the worker and the impact on essential services for the public must be assessed. Whether or not the worker can be protected must also be assessed.
However, seniors can go out for a walk or to buy groceries while abiding by health recommendations. Home delivery services should be used when available.
It is strongly recommended that older adults do not go to the pharmacy to buy medication. For prescription refills, they must contact their pharmacist, at least 24 hours beforehand, by telephone or via the pharmacy’s website. A family member or friend can go to the pharmacy to pick up the medication. If this is not possible, most pharmacies also have a delivery service.
During this period, families and friends are encouraged to phone seniors to catch up on their news and ask them to protect themselves.
In order to reassure seniors and remind them of the importance of abiding by public health instructions, the Gouvernement du Québec has established a robocall system featuring well-known key figures such as Message from Bernard Derome (French only) , Message from Dominique Michel (French only) , Message from Shea Weber and Message from Mutsumi Takahashi .
In the event of a fire in a seniors' residence, intermediate resource, or family-type resource, additional measures must be put in place during the evacuation and at the gathering point (PDF 64 Kb) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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: April 7, 2020