13 Surprising COVID-19 Rules & Facts That Most Quebecers Don't Know

Courtesy of the provincial government.
13 Surprising COVID-19 Rules & Facts That Most Quebecers Don't Know

By now, we all know the basics of living through the pandemic in Quebec, from the 8 p.m. curfew to where to stock up on sanitizer.

But if you pore over the government's reading materials, there are a bunch of surprising COVID-19 rules and facts that most Quebecers have no clue about.

We've rounded up 13 of them because the more you know, the better prepared you'll be! 

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Friends from separate addresses can go ahead with their hotel or Airbnb reservations under one major condition

The Quebec government stipulates that you can visit tourist accommodations in red zones with friends from different addresses, so long as you stay in separate units.

In other words, you could take multiple rooms at the same hotel with your friends. But only people from the same household bubble can stay together in a cottage or similar shared space.

The government reminds Quebecers that interregional travel is heavily discouraged.

Ski lifts and gondolas can only be occupied by members of the same household

If you go skiing in Quebec this winter, you're allowed to do outdoor activities in groups — but with a maximum of four people from four different addresses.

Ski lifts, however, can only be occupied by members of the same household.

Gondolas can be shared by either one household or two individuals at a time.

Those skiing alone must keep a two-metre distance from others.

Children between two and nine years old should still wear masks in public 

Even though it's not required, the government recommends that children under the age of 10 wear face coverings in enclosed or partially enclosed public spaces, such as when riding public transit.

Masks are not recommended for children under two.

You can get help moving to a different home in Quebec red zones

The government says that while moving in a Quebec red zone is not recommended, it is also not prohibited.

If you can't hire movers and you absolutely need help moving, you can ask family members and friends to help you — provided you comply with a number of requirements, such as:

  • Limiting the number of people helping you and the length of time they are there as much as possible

  • Making sure no one has symptoms associated with COVID‑19, has returned from travelling in the last 14 days, or has been in contact with infected people

  • Keeping a safe two-metre distance at all times

Pets are supposed to isolate too... but they don't need to wear masks

If you're self-isolating, you're supposed to self-isolate from your pets by avoiding petting, licking, or letting them into your room.

If you come into "direct, unprotected contact" with your animal during your self-isolation period, you need to isolate your pet from other people or animals for 14 days.

However — and, believe it or not, the government actually addressed this on its website — your pet does not need to wear a mask.

"Having an animal wear a mask for face covering is unhelpful and could cause them stress or other problems. This recommendation is for people only," it says.

Employers are not required to pay you if your work cannot be done remotely

Teleworking is currently mandatory for all offices in Quebec.

Unfortunately, if you're a salaried employee who isn't working right now because your office job can't be performed remotely then your employer is not obligated to pay you.

That said, the Quebec government asks employers to display "understanding and flexibility" in the current situation.

And, if you've been unable to work due to COVID-19 health measures, you should look into Government of Canada benefits.

The government has outlined the best sanitizing ingredients

The government website says that 70% alcohol and sodium hypochlorite are known to be particularly effective against the novel coronavirus.

Health Canada has published a list of disinfectant products that can be used to help deactivate SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces.

Grocery stores and pharmacies can deliver during curfew hours

It's not just restaurants that can deliver after curfew!

The government says grocery stores, restaurants, and drugstores can make deliveries at their convenience, regardless of the curfew, while abiding by public health regulations.

Avoid taking your children to stores as much as possible

The government recommends that parents leave children at home as much as possible when frequenting grocery stores or other stores currently open across Quebec.

There is no food shortage in Quebec, but food prices may rise due to COVID-19

The government of Quebec states on its website that no food or sanitary product shortage is in sight.

However, it says that in the exceptional circumstances we're currently experiencing, it is possible that food product prices will fluctuate and that the food industry is facing significant challenges right now.

You don't have to wash your produce with vinegar or anything other than water

All you need to do to wash produce is rinse with water and scrub the surfaces of the food. There is no need for detergent, the government says.

The government site also says that it's better to buy unpackaged produce since the packaging of fruits and vegetables increases the amount of handling by food establishment operators.

You're supposed to wash your mask every time you wear it

The government says that as soon as you get home, you should put your mask in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry, wash it in warm water with regular laundry detergent, and wash your hands after handling it.

It also says to make sure the mask is completely dry before you use it again.

The coronavirus is destroyed at high heat temperatures, such as when food is heated up at a high setting

Fun fact: COVID-19 can be destroyed at high temperatures, like when food is microwaved at the highest setting or when it's cooked in the oven.

Freezing, on the other hand, is not an effective way to neutralize the virus.

It's important to remember that the virus is not spread through what we eat or drink, but by infected droplets that we breathe in or that come in contact with the mucous membranes of our eyes, the government site states.