As of Saturday, July 18, masks will be mandatory in all of Quebec's indoor public spaces. Everyone aged 12 and older will have to wear a mask in any and all enclosed public spaces. To ensure business owners comply with the province's mandatory mask rules, Premier François Legault announced that health officials would issue huge fines for those who fail to enforce the rules.
Since business owners will be responsible for ensuring people are wearing masks in their establishment, Legault stressed that it's paramount we all follow the rules to guarantee everyone's safety.
Business owners will be subjected to fines of $400 to $6,000 for any offences, said the premier.
"The COVID-19 virus is really dangerous and it's easy to catch when you're close to another person," said Legault.
The premier bemoaned how so many people still aren't respecting indoor gathering rules and said that making masks mandatory is now necessary.
Legault said that he "hopes people will quickly get on board" but that there has to be some kind of societal pressure imposed on the public to build good habits.
The news comes after a worrisome trend of crowded bars in Montreal.
On Sunday, Montreal public health officials said that anyone who works at or visited a bar or restaurant in the city since July 1 should go get tested for COVID-19.
"Community transmission is happening," Legault confirmed on Monday.
Masks are already mandatory on public transit in Montreal.
"The STM will make every effort to ease up the mandatory wearing of face coverings," STM Chairman Philippe Schnobb said in a statement.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante previously announced that masks would be mandatory in all indoor spaces in Montreal as of July 27, though the government's new rule will likely override the city's own regulations.
Thank you to the @GouvQc for listening to us and for deciding to make face coverings mandatory in all of the provin… https://t.co/z0yvOd56J7— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1594661669.0
On Twitter, the mayor praised the announcement to make mask-wearing mandatory in the whole of the province on the 18th.
Legault made clear that the new rules will also apply to restaurants and bars.
He explained that when in bars or restaurants, patrons can take their masks off to eat and drink while sitting at their assigned table.
Otherwise, customers must wear a mask when entering/exiting an establishment and when going to the bathroom.