Public health guidelines for everyone
The health measures (PDF 512 Kb) (document available in French only) concerning indoor and outdoor physical, sports and recreational activities must be respected at all times.
Sports federations and provincial recreation organizations will develop guidelines for their members regarding the resumption of activities and make these guidelines available to everyone in Québec.
People who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or who are waiting for test results or who have tested positive must not take part in sports or recreational activities.
People who are deemed to be close contacts of a person with COVID-19 must not take part in sports or recreational activities.
It is important to put up a sign at the entrance of the sports facility indicating that people who are self-isolating are not to enter.
Individuals must respect physical distancing measures, regardless of whether they are carrying out activities indoors or outdoors, unless they live in the same household.
In practice facilities, markers may be placed on the ground or walls to indicate the distance that must be respected. In addition, a one-way traffic system can be created to ensure that people do not cross paths. Traffic must be smooth and organized in narrow and congested areas such as entrances and exits.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
Promote hand hygiene measures by providing the necessary materials (e.g. running water, soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, touchless trash cans, paper towels, etc.) at strategic locations in the facility (at the entrance and the exit). Someone at reception could remind people to wash their hands.
Promote respiratory etiquette:
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue or the crook of your arm, and then wash your hands.
- Use single-use paper tissues
- Immediately throw used paper tissues into the garbage.
- Use touchless trash cans.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your mouth or eyes with your hands.
Put up posters promoting hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing in strategic places in the facility, both inside and outside:
- Notions de base en prévention et contrôle des infections : hygiène et étiquette respiratoires (available in French only)
- Let's continue to protect ourselves! – COVID-19
- Washing hands - Simple and effective – Self-Adhesive Poster
Wearing a procedural mask or face covering
Guidelines pertaining to wearing procedural masks or face coverings complement the other measures mentioned above and vary depending on the alert level of each region. For more information about the current guidelines regarding procedural masks or face coverings during sports and recreational activities, please consult the Alert levels map.
Despite the discomfort they may cause, masks and face coverings are deemed safe for the majority of the population. To get used to wearing a mask or face covering during a physical activity of moderate to high intensity, individuals in good health are encouraged to:
- start with short periods of exertion, followed by breaks during which the mask or face covering can be removed, provided a 2-metre distance is maintained with anyone not residing in the same household
- adapt the type and intensity of the physical activity to make breathing more comfortable
- replace the mask or face covering when damp or soiled
- stop an activity if any severe symptoms occur (e.g. difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness)
- consult a doctor when in doubt
When young people are required to wear a mask or face covering during a physical activity of moderate to high intensity, supervision is recommended. Activities with a low to moderate intensity level should be favoured. If wearing a mask becomes uncomfortable, the type and intensity level of an activity could be modified.
Guidelines for Facility Managers
Owners and managers of indoor and outdoor sports facilities (school, municipal or private) are responsible for implementing reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
They are responsible for implementing the recommended health measures and, as such, they are asked to work in collaboration with the organizations involved.
Specifically, they must:
- determine and post the maximum number of people who can be admitted to the site, given the capacity of the indoor or outdoor facility
- implement the recommended health measures, including:
- prohibit access to people who have symptoms or who have been instructed to self-isolate
- ensure that individuals keep a physical distance of 2 metres apart at all times and in all places
- promote handwashing or disinfection at the entrance to indoor facilities and in strategic places
- require that people age 10 and over wear procedural masks or face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in enclosed or partially enclosed public spaces
- keep frequently touched surfaces clean
- put a stop to the activity or add further control measures when it becomes difficult to respect the basic measures in force
Individuals responsible for swimming pools must ensure the quality of the bathing water.
Access to washrooms (sinks and toilets) is permitted. However, access to locker rooms and change rooms varies based on the alert level applicable to a given region, with the exception of change rooms at pools, which are open at all times. When these facilities are open, they must be organized to ensure that physical distancing measures are respected and must be cleaned and disinfected regularly during the day.
The CNESST has produced a Toolkit to ensure the safety of employees working in facilities that are permitted to open.
Below is a partial list of things to consider which, when combined, can help owners and managers of facilities to determine how many users can access the area at one time and to ensure proper traffic management:
- the characteristics of the physical activity being carried out (e.g. alone or in groups of two or more; intensity of the effort required)
- the number of playing surfaces available (e.g. number of badminton courts)
- the dimensions and configuration of shared spaces and traffic areas
- the dimensions and configuration of the locker rooms and sanitary facilities
- the quality of the ventilation in each room and facility
- the recommendations of provincial sport and recreation organizations (e.g. sports federations)
It is important to remember that high intensity physical activities that cause breathlessness are likely to foster the projection of droplets over a greater distance. This aspect of the activity must be taken into consideration when calculating maximum capacity.
Maximum capacity is calculated based on the surface area accessible to participants and the number of square metres required per person practising the activity.
Surface area ÷ number of square metres per person = maximum number of people
For example, in shops where people walk around and wear a mask or face covering, the area required per person is 20 square metres.
Specific guidelines for managers of indoor facilities
Maintenance of indoor facilities
Frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, sinks, etc.) must be cleaned several times a day. The frequency with which facilities are cleaned and disinfected is increased and adjusted based on the amount of traffic. For more information, consult the document COVID-19: Surface cleaning .
In orange zones, fitness rooms and gyms are disinfected and aired out after each session. The schedule provides time between training sessions or matches for full disinfection when required, depending on the type of physical or sports activity.
There must be proper ventilation that ensures good air circulation. It is essential that ventilation systems be operating and maintained properly in accordance with the regulatory requirements for the type of establishment. It is also important to ensure that air is not blown directly on people.
Guidelines for sports organizations
As much as possible, online payment should be encouraged for registrations. The handling of paper should be minimized, both for registration and information‑sharing purposes and the use of electronic documents should be preferred.
Local or nearby activities are encouraged. Travel between regions is permitted, but individuals are asked to ensure that they go straight to the location of the training activity, and to limit any non-essential stops along the way. Once they have arrived at the location, the guidelines issued by the public health authorities must be respected. At all times, individuals must respect the guidelines that apply in the zone from which they have come.
It is recommended that a record be kept that includes the names of participants, their telephone numbers and the date they participated (in the case of fitness rooms, such a record is mandatory). This record must be destroyed 30 days after the activity.
Specific guidelines for participants and employees
In order to avoid clustering, participants are encouraged to arrive on time, ready to participate in the activity. They are asked to leave the premises as quickly as possible after the activity. No spectators are allowed.
Employees and participants must wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or disinfect their hands before and after the activity.
Participants may bring only a strict minimum of personal belongings (e.g. water bottle and towel), which must not be left lying around. Specific areas may be designated for storage.
Employees who cannot remain at least 2 metres from participants (e.g. on the players’ bench, at the gymnastics bar), are required to wear a procedural mask and eye protection.
Non-essential physical contact is not permitted among participants, employees and accompanying persons (e.g. huddle, handshakes, hugs).
Exclusion and first aid protocol
A protocol has been established for assisting people who develop symptoms while at practice facilities. The people in charge are familiar with this protocol:
- Isolate the person (outdoors, if possible, or in a closed room if indoors), until their departure for home.
- Arrange for the person to return home as quickly as possible.
- Wear a procedure mask.
- Call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions given.
- Arrange to have the room used for isolation cleaned, disinfected and ventilated.
Employees who administer first aid must follow these recommendations .
Equipment and materials
Given that it is difficult to keep from touching one’s face, particularly in the context of physical and sports activities, it is recommended that shared objects and equipment be disinfected regularly.
Each participant should use their own equipment as much as possible. If this is not possible, the equipment should be changed regularly during the activity and washed with soap and hot water or an effective disinfectant between activities (e.g. a ball).
If the players bring their own equipment (e.g. a ball), a person designated by the club must disinfect it before the players take the field.
Some objects, such as cones and hurdles, are not frequently touched by hands during the sports activity. People should be asked to wash their hands after handling them.
The loan of equipment is permitted. Participants are responsible for cleaning it after each training session or match for the rest of the season.
After the training session or match, clothing is removed and washed with regular laundry detergent.
Guidelines for managers of day camps
The Ministère de l’Éducation has worked closely with the Association des camps du Québec (ACQ), the Association québécoise du loisir municipal (AQLM), the Association québécoise pour le loisir des personnes handicapées (AQLPH) and the public health authorities to create guides for resuming activities during the summer, while respecting the guidelines provided by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.
Businesses and organizations that work with day camps must refer to the tools that have been developed in order to ensure that the activities can restart in safe conditions:
Resources for staying active
The following resources may help you stay active outdoors and at home:
- Va donc jouer
- Actiz (Resource for staying active at work) (Available in French only)
- Vifa magazine (Available in French only)
- Unités régionales de loisir et de sport (Available in French only)
- The “Inspiring Advice” blog by Sépaq
- Loisir accessible (Available in French only)
- Force 4 (Available in French only)
- WIXX (Available in French only)
- PeP ton jeu! (Available in French only)
- Grand défi Pierre Lavoie (Available in French only)
- Energy Cubes
- Move 50+ (Available in French only)
- The Open School website
- Energy Cube – Be active
- Cent degrés magazine (Available in French only)
- Plan for the resumption of sports and recreational activities - Phase 1 (PDF 200 Kb)
- Questions and answers concerning outdoor sports and recreational activities
- Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Indoor and Outdoor Sports, Recreation and Open Air Activities Sector – COVID-19
- Arénas et centres sportifs – Mesures préventives de la COVID-19 en milieu de travail (available in French only)
- Covid-19 : Guide des consignes sanitaires à suivre lors de la pratique d’activités physiques, sportives, de loisir ou de plein air (French only) (PDF 512 Kb)
- Water quality of indoor swimming pools and spas (COVID-19)
- CNESST guide for organizing activities
- Workplace Sanitary Standards Guide for the Indoor and Outdoor Sports, Recreation and Open Air Activities Sector – COVID-19
- Preventive measures in SÉPAQ parks
- Guide du vivre avec dans les installations aquatiques (available in French only)
Last update: April 28, 2021