All of Quebec's regions — including Montreal — will be designated COVID-19 green zones as of June 28. The news comes as residents continue to receive vaccine doses and COVID-19 cases fall dramatically.
Although the green level designation is the lowest of all alert levels in Quebec, occupancy limits, public health guidelines and other rules will continue to apply. Here's what you need to know.
Montreal bars and restaurants will soon see their terrasse occupancy limits extended to 20 people per table.
Indoors, a maximum of 10 people from three different residences will be able to sit at the same table.
In bars, singing and dancing will still not be permitted.
Bars will have to stop serving alcohol at midnight and close at 2 a.m.
Weddings and funerals
As of Monday, wedding ceremonies will be able to host up to 250 people, but guests must remain seated during the ceremony and practice 2-metre social distancing.
Wedding receptions will be limited to 50 people outdoors and 25 people indoors, with 2 metres of distance between each person, except for members of the same household.
Masks will have to be worn at all times, except when seated, silent or speaking in a "low voice."
Funerals "will be limited to an audience of 250 people who must remain seated during the event," according to the government.
Moreover, "during the viewing of the body or ashes of the deceased, as well as during the expression of condolences to the next of kin," it will be "permitted to have a rotation of 50 people at the same time inside the premises."
Masks will still be required.
Gatherings in homes will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of three different households, with social distancing and mask-wearing "highly recommended."
As of Monday, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 20 people.
The government also recommends wearing masks and practicing social distancing during outdoor gatherings.
In gyms, you'll be able to carry out activities alone, with one other person or with members of one other household. Fitness classes will be able to welcome 25 people, but close proximity activities won't be allowed.
Sports, including guided lessons and training, will be permitted in outdoor public spaces for groups of "no more than 50 individuals," with no limit on the number of households they make up.
Organized games and matches between sports teams will be allowed with up to 50 spectators.
Indoor sports, "including guided lessons and training," will be permitted for 25 participants from different households.
Organized indoor sports will be able to have up to 25 spectators.
Washrooms and locker rooms will be open and must be cleaned regularly by facility staff throughout the day. Equipment rentals will also be permitted.
As Quebec's new COVID-19 cases continue to decline and with the rules on gatherings, restaurants, gyms — and more — changing quickly, MTL Blog went through your DMs and answered your questions about what it means to be at a "Level 2–Early Warning (yellow)" alert level.
Can I go to a terrasse with people from different households?
As of Monday, people from two different addresses can sit together at a single table at an outdoor restaurant or bar terrasse.
That means if you're a group of eight people from four different addresses, you'll have to sit at two separate tables.
But as long as you keep it to two households, the number of people doesn't matter.
What are the differences between orange and yellow zone rules?
There are lots of differences between both alert levels, but primarily, yellow and green zones allow for larger gatherings than red and orange zones.
Until Monday, restaurants are only permitted to seat a maximum of two people from different addresses at a single restaurant table, but occupants of the same household can sit together, no matter how many they are.
In yellow zones, an unlimited number of people can be seated at a table, as long as they make up two households.
While places of worship in orange zones are limited to 100 people, the limit is upped to 250 people in yellow zones.
Weddings and funerals in places of worship in orange zones are limited to 25 people. In yellow zones, the allowance is increased to 50 people.
Do we still have to wear masks?
Yes, in most cases.
You do not have to wear masks in most outdoor settings where you can practice social distancing, or when you're eating or drinking at your table in a restaurant or bar.
When gathering indoors in private homes located in yellow zones, masks and social distancing are still required.
Masks have to be worn in movie theatres until you are seated in the theatre. Only then can you remove your mask, provided you remain silent.
Masks must also be worn in auditoriums, but may be removed once the person is seated.
Wearing a face covering is mandatory for spectators of indoor sports aged 10 and over, except in facilities where seats are assigned in advance.
According to Éconofitness, in yellow zone gyms, wearing a mask is mandatory to circulate within the gym and when 2-metre social distancing is not possible, such as in the free weights section.
They're not mandatory when you can social distance — but it's recommended that you wear a mask for better protection.
When will clubs be open?
Bars are permitted to reopen their indoor spaces on Monday, and a club is a type of bar.
However, you will have to remain seated at all times — no dancing or singing is permitted at this time.
Occupants two households can be seated at the same table, regardless of the number of people.
For the time being, bars will close at midnight and stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m.
Are there any updates on interprovincial travel?
In yellow zones, travel between regions and cities is still not recommended, but it is possible.
The Quebec and Ontario border is still closed and it's currently prohibited for someone from Ontario to be in Quebec or vice-versa. However, there are exceptions.
How many guests are allowed at weddings, and can they dance?
A maximum of 50 guests is permitted at weddings in places of worship in yellow zones.
The government doesn't specify whether singing or dancing is not permitted.
While singing and dancing are not currently permitted at bars, Quebec is allowing high school graduates to dance without masks at their proms.
What are the rules on indoor gatherings in homes?
Indoor gatherings are allowed! But they are limited to people from a maximum of two households.
Masks must be worn at all times and you also have to practice 2-metre social distancing.
What are the gym restrictions in yellow zones?
In yellow zone gyms, training activities carried out by yourself, in pairs or by members of two households are permitted.
Training at close proximity is not permitted, except among members of the same household.
Gyms have to keep a sign-in record, and they have to publicly post the maximum capacity of the gym.
At Éconofitness, you are not required to wear a mask while exercising, so long as you can practice social distancing — but it's recommended for further protection.
Some gyms are requiring booking your workout session online before attending so they can ensure the maximum capacity of the space is respected.
Gym locker rooms can open as of Monday.
When could Montreal become a green zone?
The government of Quebec has laid out a reopening plan with the goal of lifting almost all COVID-19 restrictions by the end of August if 75% of those aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
According to the plan, most Quebec regions should be green zones by June 28.
In green zones, there are larger occupancy limits for indoor spaces — but some limits don't change between yellow and green zones, such as weddings and funerals.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Montreal is a hotbed of ableism, especially when it comes to nightlife, says Alicia-Ann Pauld.
"In Montreal, one of the things that is most inaccessible, in my opinion, is nightlife," said the 23-year-old Concordia University student. "Things like bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, they are just so inaccessible for people with reduced mobility."
Pauld, who has muscular dystrophy, wants the city's vaunted party scene to be way more accessible for disabled people, and even went so far as to call Montreal "one of the least accessible cities in North America," in a recent Disability After Darkpodcast episode, though she admitted to not having travelled much.
"But the reason why I said that is because I honestly cannot imagine a city being worse," the writer and disability rights activist told MTL Blog.
Boulevard Saint-Laurent 'is just an absolute nightmare'
For disabled people, even making it downtown can be a struggle because not all metro stations are accessible.
Then they might not be able to enter their chosen establishment because it does not have a usable ramp or the business might be located up a flight of stairs, she said.
And boulevard Saint-Laurent, arguably the city's best party street, is also one of its least accessible, said Pauld.
"That street is just an absolute nightmare. Not a thing on that street is accessible," she said, listing a number of multi-level clubs and bars on the Main that don't have elevators.
She called Montreal's bars and clubs: "gendered and sexualized social spaces and when they're inaccessible we make it difficult for disabled people, and people with reduced mobility, to be social, sexual, gendered beings, which everybody else gets to be, because they get to go to these places way more easily than we do."
Pauld did give a shout-out to three establishments that she said are accessible including Bar Ganadara on rue Sainte-Catherine, "great Korean food, great drinks," and the Atwater Cocktail Club on avenue Atwater.
Disabled people have just as much a desire for drink, drugs, and inclusion as anybody else, said Pauld.
"We're going to need people to understand that disabled people belong in every type of space," she said. "We're going through the same stuff. We have the same sexual awakenings and we have the same desires to meet people, and to make friends, and to be in relationships, and to drink, and do drugs, or to go out and party, like we want to go out and do all these things but because there's this belief that we don't, we aren't included in those spaces."
Disabled people have all those same needs, she said, "and to pretend that people with disabilities don't is obviously wrong but also really violent because it's literally stripping away from us something that is quite vital in terms of our development and our overall happiness as individuals."
How can Montreal become more inclusive?
Montreal is full of old buildings that can be less than friendly to people with disabilities.
And though the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, which controls the laws regarding the accessibility of buildings, adheres to a grandfather clause exempting some historical structures from having to comply with more current regulations, Pauld would like to see a renewed commitment from the city to make things more inclusive.
"I know that a lot the charm that is Montreal is how old the buildings are and while I understand that in terms of the architecture, I think it's important to understand this city should not keep its people out," said Pauld.
"We shouldn't allow the city to discriminate against those that live in it or the tourists who want to visit it," she continued.
"Every single building should have to be accessible by law."
According to the Politique gouvernementale pour accroître la participation sociale des personnes handicapées, Quebec had more than 750,000 disabled persons in 2006, which was 10% of the population.