Officials clarified the rules for outdoor mask-wearing in red and orange zones.
April 14, 2021
January 12, 2022
On Tuesday, Premier Legault clarified that residents of Quebec's red and orange zones must wear masks for outdoor activities if they're joined by even one person who does not live at the same address — and that includes members of a couple.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Health and Social Services stated that while "this may seem contradictory for people in couples who do not live together [...] a police officer cannot know who is in a bubble with whom if the residence addresses are not the same."
The ministry called it a matter of "consistency and uniformity" in the enforcement of health measures.
Asked about outdoor mask-wearing for couples on Tuesday, National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda explained that "because of the variant [...] the risk is significant" when household bubbles come in contact with each other.
"Our main objective is not to frustrate people, but to protect them," he said.
The only exceptions to outdoor mask-wearing for adults who do not live at the same address are for activities in which they are seated at least two metres apart (like a picnic) and for swimming or water sports.
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.
Previously, outdoor mask-wearing was limited to group activities with a minimum of three people who did not reside at the same address.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services told Narcity Québec that such group recreational or sports activities could include "playing outside, walking, running, golfing, etc."
There are exceptions to the new rule, though.
What are the exceptions to this rule?
During the conference, Legault explained that "If you are by yourself or with people you live with, you are not obligated to wear a mask [outside. Or,] if you are having a picnic, with a maximum of eight, once you are spread out 2 metres apart from one another, you don't need to wear a mask." You also need to be seated if you're having a picnic.
The only difference for people in orange zones is that they are allowed to be in groups of 12 or less outdoors — as long as "a distance of two meters [is] maintained between anyone who doesn't live together" and everyone is sitting down.
According to the government's website, masks are also not required when "swimming or doing water sports."
Why is this rule being put in place?
The premier said that "because of the presence of the variants, masks outdoors are obligatory."
As of April 12, Quebec COVID-19 stats showed that people aged 20-29 make up 15.4% of cases in the province.
Such led Legault to speak to Quebec's younger population during the conference, saying "it's your health that's at risk now" — not just the elderly's.
This is the government's explanation for having to impose stricter measures on the entire population in red and orange zones.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Among the many wonderful things that make being a Montrealer a fun and authentically Canadian experience is — you guessed it — hockey.
From its speed and tradition to, of course, its fandom, hockey is (in the opinion of most who live in the Great White North, anyway) one of the greatest sports. Montreal Canadiens fans will know this to be especially true.
But just because our hockey season may look a bit different this year, doesn't mean we can't continue to celebrate by making our homes feel like we're at a Habs game IRL.
Every Molson Export FANatic Saturdays will kick off with a Habs-themed trivia hour from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m EST, hosted by Bell Centre's in-game host Michel Kunta, and it's all about putting your Habs knowledge to the test.
First-place winners will score a $250 gift card to Tricoloresports.com, the Montreal Canadiens' official store. Second place will land a $100 gift card and third place gets a $50 gift card.
Advance registration is required so be sure to snag your spot to flex those know-it-all muscles and ultimate bragging rights.
Q&A Presented by Molson Export
Next, get ready to put those thumbs to work because after trivia is a live Twitter Q&A starting at 6:00 p.m. with special contributor Marc Dumont, formerly from The Athletic.
The session will, naturally, focus on all things Habs, acting as a "week-in-review" where fans can weigh in on what's happening with the team now (in 280 characters or less, of course).
Each Saturday one lucky fan will receive a special prize from Molson Export.
To participate, fans need to submit a question to the Q&A via Facebook or Twitter. Whichever fan has their question selected and answered by Marc during the Q&A will be Le Vrai Fan and get a retro Canadiens jersey!
Following the Twitter Q&A is a 30-minute DJ set live on Twitch. Kickstarting the first FANatic Saturday on April 3 is DJ Special K. You can also look forward to the likes of DJ Shash'U (April 10), Pat Boogie (April 24), TIZI (May 1) and Fafa Khan (May 8).
Whatever your musical flavour, get ready to kick that pregame party into high gear because each DJ will be cranking the tunes until the puck drops.
All you have to do is tune into Montreal Canadiens' social channels to catch a glimpse of the featured star cheering on the Habs.
To date, celebs like David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget, Erin Andrews and Bruce Buffer have been featured. It's anybody's guess as to who will check in with fans next, but one thing's for sure: it's always well worth the wait.
Think everything from jerseys and player T-shirts to headwear, socks and pyjamas. New items exclusive to the weekend event will be offered each week (this Saturday, April 3 you can get 25% off selected hoodies and sweaters), so be sure to check back often for official Habs gear you're going to want to make your own.
Wherever you choose to celebrate the Habs every week, tune in to Molson Export FANatic Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. EST for trivia, special programming, cash prizes, celebrity check-ins and more every single Saturday that the Montreal Canadiens play, home or away.
At the same time, remote work has become the new normal even as rent and home prices are going through a messy divorce with reality. This is provoking some young people to consider moving to smaller, quieter, more affordable places. Now, New Brunswick wants in on the action.
For more than 200 years, this lovely maritime province has been quietly doing its thing, a venture that has produced mountains of McCain fries (founded there in 1957), the world's longest covered bridge, and the biggest lobster (statue) on the planet — not to mention some of the cheapest housing east of the Main.
That's why the province is launching the Live for the Moment NB marketing campaign to lure Canadian city dwellers to the Picture Province.
"We understand that by attracting new people to our province, we open new doors to incredible opportunities for economic, social, and cultural growth; opportunities that will make our province an even greater place to work, live and grow," stated campaign spokesperson Susy Campos in an email.
'In New Brunswick, your money goes further'
New Brunswick has been going through something of a demographic crisis — it is the only province in Canada with a declining population, according to the 2016 census — and there's some amazingly affordable real estate there as a result.
While the average sale price for a Montreal home is $441,979, according to the campaign, it's only $196,551 in the Greater Fredericton Region.
Near bustling Saint John it's $212,578, near Moncton it's $225,200, and in the predominantly French-speaking Acadian region in the northeast, it's a very reasonable $135,313.
"In New Brunswick, your money goes further," said Campos.
Quebecers should feel at home
New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in the country, said Campos, so Quebecers should feel right at home.
"We celebrate the duality across all corners of our province," she said. "There are francophone and anglophone communities throughout the province, so it is possible to live and work in French, in English or both!"
Despite this, underestimating New Brunswick has become a basic part of the Canadian psyche — as shown in this satirical article by The Beaverton — but Campos said this is unwarranted.
"Being the subject of jokes like this just drives us to show people what they're missing," she said.
"We know it's all in good fun but it also does reinforce that Canadians outside this region don't know enough about New Brunswick and all the amazing things it has to offer. That's what this campaign is about."
New Brunswick wants to ride the remote work revolution
The place has some undeniably amazing things going for it, not the least of which are "the warmest salt-water beaches north of the Carolinas, an abundance of freshwater lakes, extensive parks and wide-open natural spaces," said Campos.
So, if the high costs and high stress of city living have you wishing for a different life, New Brunswick could be for you — especially if you're a part of the "growing 'work from anywhere (WFA)' movement," said Campos.
"New Brunswick offers a place where remote workers can really have it all — a thriving career and an amazing lifestyle," she said.
Although interregional travel continues to be heavily discouraged, you might find yourself in an orange zone in the coming weeks for essential reasons. But if you live in a red zone and go to an orange zone, you have to follow a different set of rules. Here's what you should keep in mind.
Can residents of Quebec red zones travel to orange zones?
The government's rules are clear — it is heavily discouraged to travel to orange zones if you live in a red zone, like Montreal or Laval.
You can travel between regions if you're an essential worker, sharing child custody, being summoned by court order, travelling to receive health care, travelling for humanitarian reasons or transporting essential goods. There are also some other exceptions.
The exception is if you're in a red zone and must travel to another region for work or school. Then, you can abide by the orange zone rules.
Can I dine in a restaurant in an orange zone?
No. In Quebec red zones, or the Greater Montreal area, restaurant dining rooms are closed and food can only be delivered or picked up, so the same would apply to you in an orange zone.
In fact, orange zone restaurant-owners are required by the government to keep an attendance register, and will only let you in if you have proof of residence from a region with an alert level that matches the one you're in.
Can I visit a few friends at their home in an orange zone?
If you live alone, you may continue to have one visitor from another address — but it should always be the same person.
But can I see them outdoors then?
It depends. In Quebec red zones, outdoor gatherings at people's homes are still prohibited. The same goes for orange zones.
However, you can do outdoor activities with friends in public places in both red zones and orange zones so you could get together to ski, tube, skate or snowshoe!
These types of outdoor group activities are limited to eight people from different addresses in red zones, so the same would apply in orange zones.
What time would my curfew start in an orange zone?
There is a discrepancy between what the Government of Quebec's website says and what the Ministry of Health (MSSS) told MTL Blog.
In Quebec orange zones, the overnight curfew begins at 9:30 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. every day. In red zones, the overnight curfew begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. every day.
Quebec's website says, "Red alert continues to apply to every person residing there while travelling outside his or her zone," implying you'd have to stick with a red-zone curfew — even in an orange zone.
However, Marie-Hélène Émond, an MSSS spokesperson, told us, "the curfew of the area visited will apply."
To play it safe, be indoors by 8 p.m.
Definitely don't stay out past 9:30 p.m. in an orange zone unless you have a valid reason.*