In a press conference on December 15, Premier François Legault introduced even tighter restrictions in Quebec to slow the spread of COVID-19 around the holidays

Most of the new measures will be in place from December 17 to January 11 — a period Legault referred to as a "holiday pause." 

Editor's Choice: Quebec Is Going To Close Non-Essential Stores

The government had already extended business closures until January 11. However, the previous closures did not affect malls and retail stores. 

How do the new measures affect businesses?

All non-essential businesses — including malls and retail stores — must close their doors between December 25 and January 11.

Legault said hardware stores, pet stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and garages will remain open.

Big-box stores, such as Walmart and Costco, will only be able to sell essential products during the same period.

Personal-care services, such as hair salons and nail salons, will also close between December 25 and January 11. 

How do the new measures affect workers?

It will be mandatory for office workers to work from home from December 17 to January 11, unless your job requires you to be present on-site.

Some retail workers may have an extended holiday, as all non-essential retail stores are expected to be closed into the new year.

How do the new measures affect schools?

Primary schools were expected to start back as usual on January 5, 6 or 7, depending on individual school calendars.

However, primary schools will now re-open on January 11 like high schools. 

While school buildings will be closed from December 17 to January 11, distance learning is expected to take place outside of the winter vacation period.

How do the new measures affect outdoor activities?

Outdoor activities, such as hockey games and ski lessons, will be allowed but with a maximum of 8 people plus the coach or instructor.

Outdoor spaces, such as the Montreal Botanical Garden, will open on December 17.

Gatherings in courtyards or backyards on private property are still prohibited. 

How do the new measures affect Quebecers who live alone?

During the "holiday pause" period, Legault said Quebecers who live alone can expand their social circle by joining the bubble of one family.

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