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Red Zones: Quebec’s New COVID-19 Measures Applicable as of October 1, 2020

Red Zones: Quebec’s New COVID-19 Measures Applicable as of October 1, 2020
October 1, 2020

At a press conference on September 28, 2020, Quebec Premier François Legault announced the measures, which came into effect at 12 a.m. (EDT) on September 30, 2020, for a period of 28 days in regions categorized as “red zones,” the highest COVID-19 alert level.

HIGH ALERT REGIONS 

The new measures apply to the Montréal Metropolitan Community, the Québec City region (excluding Portneuf and Charlevoix) and the Chaudière-Appalaches region.
 
Premier Legault indicated that other regions could also become red zones in the coming weeks.

DURATION OF MEASURES

 The new measures apply as of September 30, 2020, at 12 a.m. (EDT) and will remain in effect for a period of 28 days, until October 28, 2020, at 12 a.m. (EDT). However, data on newly confirmed cases will be monitored, and changes may be made to the measures and their duration may be extended

ANNOUNCED MEASURES

 The following measures announced by the Quebec government will or may impact employers:

  • Private gatherings are prohibited. Only those who are residents at a given address may be present. Exceptions are to be made for certain types of visitors, such as caregivers or labour required for urgent work. It should be noted that only one visitor at a time is allowed at a given residence.
  • Dining areas in restaurants are closed. Restaurants may remain open for take-out orders and delivery only.
  • Other entertainment venues, such as bars, casinos, reception halls, cinemas, museums, theaters, libraries and performance venues are closed.
  • Outdoor gatherings are allowed, as long as physical distancing requirements are maintained.
  • Sports activities, including those carried out in sports centres, are allowed.
  • Businesses, including hotels and hair and beauty salons, remain open.
  • Businesses are also to maintain their operations so that people may continue to earn wages. Where possible, remote working must continue to be the preferred working method.
  • Schools remain open for the time being. Premier Legault stated that safeguarding schools is one of his priorities and that he wishes to preserve, as much as possible, a level of “normalcy” for students, considering that the risks associated with keeping children at home outweigh other risks, as they "need to socialize."
  • Inter-regional travel from red zones is not prohibited, but is not recommended toward green, yellow and orange zones (with the exception of essential travel, such as for workers and freight transportation). Travel outside of Quebec is also not recommended. Premier Legault indicated that police controls may be carried out, but only as a reminder of the recommendations on avoiding travel from a red zone.

A map of the COVID-19 alert levels by region and the measures applicable in each region can be found on the Quebec government’s web site.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES FORCED TO SHUT DOWN

Premier Legault stated that the Quebec government will announce compensation packages for certain businesses that are forced to shut down in light of the aforementioned measures.
 
The government also announced measures regarding places of worship and demonstrations. More information on these measures may be found on the government’s web site.
 
For further information, please contact a member of our Employment & Labour group.

Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre to learn more about how COVID-19 may impact your business.