Beginning Saturday, January 9, 2021, a curfew in Quebec will take effect every day from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

According to provincial health regulations, "anyone will be prohibited from being outside their residence or its grounds, except in the case of justified exceptions." 

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Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming curfew in Quebec. 

How does the Quebec curfew work?

Simply enough, no one will be allowed to be outside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day — with a few specific exceptions.

Rule-breakers will be subject to fines between $1,000 and $6,000.

Premier François Legault called the curfew and other new restrictions a "shock treatment" to halt the progress of COVID-19 in the province.

Concurrently, the province will continue its lockdown, including the closure of non-essential businesses.

Grocery stores will close at 7:30 p.m. to give employees time to get home.

Pharmacies and gas stations will maintain their regular hours, however.

Are there any exceptions to the curfew?

The government has, in fact, released a list of permitted exceptions, namely for:

  • "a person who is required to report to work;

  • "a person who has to pick up medication after a medical appointment;

  • "a person who has to go to or from a hospital or clinic, dentist or optometrist;

  • "a person who has to go to the bedside of a sick or injured relative;

  • "a student who is required to attend an evening classroom or laboratory in a recognized school;

  • "a parent who must drive his or her children to the other parent who has custody of the children;

  • "a person who returns from abroad (due to work) on an overnight flight and must return to his or her residence;

  • "a person who needs to fill up with gas to get to work;

  • "a person who needs to go outside so their dog can 'relieve itself;'

  • "a person who must accompany a person who is unable to drive to a medical appointment;

  • "a parent who must accompany a sick child to the hospital;" and

  • "a parent who has to drive a teenager to work."

Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault also specifically underlined that the curfew isn't intended to prevent people from leaving a situation involving domestic violence.

Will I be stopped by the police if I'm outside? 

Police will be able to "intervene if a person is outside his or her residence during non-permitted hours," according to a press release.

"It will be the responsibility of that person to show to a police officer [...] that they have a good reason for being outside," Guilbault said at a press conference. 

"I suggest all people concerned to have in their possession a proof of the legitimacy of the fact that they are out of their home."

Employers can give their essential workers attestations so they can get to and from work during the curfew.

An attestation form is available online.

The deputy premier also suggested keeping receipts if you go to the pharmacy for medication.

Otherwise, she said, police will act with "discernment and judgment" when dealing with curfew violators. 

In addition, while people living alone can still invite one visitor to their home, they will have to leave before the curfew begins. 

Legault also expects homeless Quebecers to be indoors but according to the deputy premier, the police will "accompany" them rather than fine them. 

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