Further regulations include maintaining a two-metre distance from others, hand washing upon entering, and ensuring that gym machines are sanitized after use.
Gym owners must determine a maximum number of members that can be admitted at a time, post this number in the facility, and make sure capacity is respected. The government asks that they also "prohibit access to people who have symptoms or who have been instructed to self-isolate."
In an email to members, Éconofitness specified, "In order to comply with government requirements, note that changing rooms and showers are not available. However, access to the toilets and sinks is permitted." Thus, you can expect the situation to be similar in other gyms as well.
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.
Being in an orange zone means more freedom to go out and do things.
Most Montrealers will be happy to know that they can go back to their regularly scheduled daily restaurant visits to post on Instagram. Restaurant terrasses are already open but on June 7, restaurants can finally open their dining rooms.
The government noted that "with the exception of fast-food restaurants, reservations are mandatory."
Restaurants will be able to seat "a maximum of 2 people from a different address," according to the government. Though those two people "may be accompanied by their children under the age of 18."
"Occupants of the same private residence may sit together at the same table," however.
And if you're absolutely dying to post Instagram stories of you drinking a complicated cocktail at a bar, bar terrasses will be open as of June 11. The same rules for seating will apply.
Are gyms going to be open?
Arguably the most common question of the past year has been "what about the gyms?" and we finally have good news for you all.
While it's not clear that the main drivers of COVID-19 cases in Montreal are gyms and fitness centres, the number of new cases in the province* has risen steadily over the last week, peaking at 1,314 new cases on April 1.
It's clear that the premier's decisions on business closures are confusing to us all, let alone the dude in this meme.
Not even our parents' missed calls or unviewed grades compare to the stress Montrealers experience before a 5 p.m. provincial press conference (they're notorious for being deliverers of bad news).
Spongebob seems to be skeptical of the fact that, last week, Legault announced Montreal would see no changes to its COVID-19 restrictions — at the same time he announced new and stricter protocols in Quebec orange zones.
Montrealers are confused as to why Legault continues to keep classrooms open in Quebec while gyms are part of non-essential business closures.
You might remember the "floor is lava" game from your childhood. In this meme, the floor is bringing Montreal out of confinement and opening Montreal gyms.
This meme claims that Legault's strategy all along was to reopen gyms so Montrealers could buy memberships, only to close them a few days later.
"Of course there is always that concern [...] it is a burden to have to put a halt on your business so many times in one year. People don't have as much appetite for online training and you don't get to observe your client as well as you'd like," said Yaz Cissé, owner of Yaz Body Shop in NDG.
Cissé also said the government should "do better" to ensure rules are explained more clearly and implemented more fairly. For example, he said personal training studios should not be lumped in with large commercial gyms
Both Verchinskaia and Cissé told MTL Blog the key to staying open is following all health and safety protocols — unlike the Quebec City gym linked to 141 COVID-19 cases, where officials discovered "sanitary shortcomings."
But, according to Aaron Wilson, co-founder of Rebl Union fitness studio in Griffintown, not all of the city's gyms are doing that.
"We're dismayed and angered by the unethical practice of some gyms in the city [...] We're seeing many gyms on social media not respecting social distancing or the amount of people allowed per square metre in their space," he said.
"These unethical practices will push gyms to closure once again. Not only will this force small businesses like ours to further suffer, but it also makes a mockery of what we are here to do as health professionals."