The provincial government announced on July 9 a list of new measures that will be put in place in all Quebec bars as of tomorrow, July 10, to prevent a second wave of COVID-19. This follows the province reopening all industries on June 25, except for festivals, large gatherings, some summer camps and contact sports. Since the reopening, rules and regulations continue to change to the adapting situation.
Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services, announced the following new measures will be in place:
- Bars have to stop selling alcoholic beverages at 12 a.m. and all clients must leave by 1 a.m.
- Bars cannot have more than 50% of their capacity.
- Dancing is prohibited, by which he meant that customers must stay seated to drink at all times.
Montreal will be adopting a similar rule for face coverings, requiring them to be worn in any indoor public space from July 27.
Mr. Dubé announced these new measures, saying that the government is applying them because the health of citizens is what's most important to them.
Since reopening, Montrealers have been getting used to new safety measures, like mandatory hand sanitization upon arrival, social distancing and contactless purchases.
Along with the three new mandatory regulations that all Quebec bars must begin following as of Friday, July 10, the Minister of Health and Social Services mentioned during the conference that the idea of keeping a registry of clients in every bar is being considered.
With these new rules, there will also be a greater police presence in bar-heavy areas.
Dr. Arruda has previously stated that he "remain[s] convinced that there will, unfortunately, be a second wave," if we don't take proper action.
He reminded all Quebecers "that deconfinement is conditional on respecting distancing, hygiene measures and on wearing a face covering."
With the issues surrounding the Mile Public House incident, in which various clients tested positive for COVID-19 last week, the government felt as though it was necessary to get stricter with bar regulations.
"What we've seen during the last few days is unacceptable," Dubé said in a conference on July 9.
The minister said that people who don't properly follow rules set in place by the government are "put[ting] the health of all Quebecers at risk."
The government has also previously threatened to close down any bar or terrasse that fails to comply with the regulations.