This new measure covers commercial establishments subject to the Act respecting hours and days of admission to commercial establishments This hyperlink will open in a new window.* (CQLR, chapter H-2.1):

The operators must reduce the maximum number of customers in their establishments.

* The Act applies to any commercial establishment where products are offered for retail sale to the public, including the members of:

  • a club;
  • a cooperative;
  • a consumer group.

Any space or stall in markets, especially covered markets, or flea markets, are put in the same category as a commercial establishment.

Calculation of the reception capacity

The reception capacity must comply with the following ratio:

Floor area in m2 accessible to customers ÷ 20 m2

Employees are not included in the number of persons authorized.

The establishment’s reception capacity must be clearly, visibly displayed. To this end, a printable sign is available for the operators of commercial establishments.

These posters are available in French. The poster in French must be predominant over the poster in English. The translated version of the poster must be affixed next to that in French. 


  • A retail business with a floor area of 9 000 m2 (megastore):
    9 000 m2 / 20 m2 = 450
    This store can thus accept a maximum of 450 customers at a time.
  • A grocery store with a floor area of 1 500 m2:
    1500 m2 / 20 m2 = 75
    The grocery store can thus accept a maximum of 75 customers at a time.
  • A neighbourhood boutique or one situated in a shopping centre with a floor area of 100 m2:
    100 m2 / 20 m2 = 5
    This store can thus accept a maximum of five customers at a time.

Management of customer traffic

The operators are responsible for taking all necessary measures in their establishments pertaining to waiting lines that might form to promote compliance by customers and staff with health recommendations:

  • 2 m of physical distancing between individuals;
  • the use of face coverings.

According to the usable area, the operators must limit access to the premises and can adopt measures to manage customer traffic such as floor markings, traffic corridors, and one-way traffic.