• After receiving multiple questions about car rides, the Sûreté du Québec reminded residents that they should avoid any and all non-essential travel.
  • The provincial police force told Narcity Québec that non-essential rides are "strongly discouraged" even within a single region.

We've been learning to live with social distancing for a few weeks now. Happy hours have become virtual, endless cycles of banana bread baking have replaced Sunday brunches, and the mandatory two-meter public distance has become almost habitual. But questions about the particulars of social distancing and essential travel persist. According to the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), many residents have reached out to ask about the validity of car rides.

Unable to go out in public places, some choose to get out of the house and go for a drive, without leaving the vehicle, just to get a change of scenery.

But the SQ encourages drivers to avoid all non-essential travel.

"Many of you ask us if you can go for a ride in a car, motorcycle, mountain bike, etc.," the provincial police force wrote on Twitter.

"The Government of Quebec strongly recommends that citizens stay home and limit outings in vehicles, regardless of the type of vehicle, except for [essential]" travel and services.

So even as warm weather arrives, amateur drivers will have to stay at home and limit their outings.

As far as motorcycles are concerned, the Quebec government's site is clear.

It is permitted to ride a motorcycle alone, but the same travel instructions apply.

With regard to the sanctions related to these rides, SQ officer Stéphane Tremblay told Narcity Québec that travel within the same region is not sanctioned, but is "strongly discouraged."

However, he said that general offence reports can be issued for travel between regions, which is prohibited in non-essential circumstances.

The SQ had previously established checkpoints to control travel between some regions.

As of April 13, its officers have "served a total of 651 statements of offence and general offence reports to all those who did not comply with government measures related to COVID-19," according to a statement on Twitter.

In Montreal, those who need to get outside can still do so with short walks through their own neighbourhood as long as they avoid all gatherings and maintain a distance of at least two metres from other individuals not in their household.


This article was originally published in French on Narcity Québec.

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