We Answered Your Qs About Quebec's COVID-19 Rules Cause They're About To Change... Again

The new rules come into effect on February 8.
We Answered Your Qs About Quebec's COVID-19 Rules Cause They're About To Change... Again

As of February 8, Quebec will be relaxing some of its COVID-19 public health restrictions. This means the province's rules are about to change... again.  

Living in a constant state of flux, it can be hard to keep track of what you're allowed to do and what might result in a $1,500 fine. But don't worry. We got you! We answered all the questions you sent to our DMs so you can prepare for the weeks ahead. 

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Do I live in a red zone or an orange zone?

Premier François Legault announced that six Quebec regions would be joining Nunavik in the orange zone as of February 8.

They are:

  • Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine

  • Bas-Saint-Laurent

  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean

  • Abitibi–Témiscamingue

  • Côte-Nord

  • and Nord-du-Québec.

Unfortunately, if you don't live in one of those places, you're in a red zone. You can find your region's alert level here.

Can I walk in the streets with my significant other?

Yes! You've always been able to walk outside with a partner you live with or if one of you lives alone.

But, now, up to four people from four different households can do outdoor activities in red zones. This means you can meet your significant other for a walk — even if you don't live together.

Just don't forget about curfew. In red zones, you have to be inside between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. In orange zones, you have until 9:30 p.m. to get home.

One exception is walking your dog, which you may do post-curfew within one kilometre of your residence.

Are gyms reopening?

In orange zones, they are. But not in Montreal!

Even in orange zones, indoor fitness activities will be limited to two people or a group living at the same address.

In red zones, fitness activities are still limited to the outdoors. You can do outdoor activities with a total of four people from four different households but you're expected to stay two metres apart.

People living at the same address can form a group of more than four people, but they can't join a group of people living at another address.

Can we travel to orange zones?

As Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault stated on February 3, "travelling between regions is heavily, heavily discouraged."

The province expects travellers to have a valid reason for their trip, such as work, school or custody arrangements — and the safest bet is to bring some form of proof or documentation.

If you are going from a red zone to a chalet or cottage you own in a different zone, Legault has stated that he expects you to bring your own food and supplies, so as to avoid stores and restaurants in other regions.

The Quebec government will not be setting up police checkpoints on routes between regions.

Will curfew remain in place after February 8?

Yes. In Quebec red zones, which include the Greater Montreal area and Laval, the curfew will remain in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

In orange zones, starting on February 8, curfew will begin at 9:30 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.

Will car dealerships be open?

Yep. Non-essential retail businesses, including hair salons, barbershops and museums, will reopen as of February 8 with reduced capacity in both red zones and orange zones.

Will malls be open?

Yes! All non-essential stores in Quebec will reopen as of February 8 with reduced capacity. That means you can buy non-essential products in stores starting on February 8.

Shopping centres will reopen as well, but they're expected to supervise common areas to make sure there's no loitering and there are no gatherings.

Can we visit each other in backyards?

No. All private gatherings are still prohibited in Quebec. If you live alone, you can have one visitor, but only one.

You can also receive visits from individuals offering services or support, such as a personal care worker or plumber.

Can people who work in offices go back to work?

No. Offices in Quebec will remain closed after February 8.

All office workers are still required to work from home unless it's essential that they be present for a specific reason.

Do public pools count as a fitness activity?

The bottom line is that public swimming pools will remain closed in Quebec red zones after February 8, just like the recreation centres where they're typically located.

In orange zones, where indoor fitness centres are allowed to reopen, it's possible that swimming pools would also be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity — but we haven't heard specifically about this from the government.

If you want to do some physical activity in Montreal, you'll have to stick with outdoor activities for now.

You can do any outdoor winter activity with a group of up to four people from four different addresses or a larger group from the same family bubble.

Are schools reopening?

In elementary schools, students have been back in class since January 11. In high schools, students have been back in class since January 18. That's not changing.

What's new is that CEGEP and university students will be able to "gradually" return to on-campus courses, libraries and study groups at least once per week starting February 8.

More details will be available in the coming weeks.

How long will this set of rules last?

Legault promised there would be no further changes to regional alert levels and no more reopenings planned until February 22.

So we can likely expect an update in around two weeks.