Subscribe to our Daily Digest and receive latest stories every day in your inbox.

Get the Narcity app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Quebec's New COVID-19 Measures & Curfew Are Set To Begin — Here's What You Need To Know

Here we go again. Chances are you've heard some of the news from Thursday's press conference: several new COVID-19 measures are coming into effect in Quebec on Friday, December 31 at 5 p.m. — including a curfew and ban on gatherings. So much for those New Year's Eve plans, eh?

"Experts tell us there's a risk that [our hospitals] won't be able to treat all those who need it in the coming weeks. I know we're all tired, but it's my responsibility to protect ourselves from this. [...] I know the restrictions are difficult. I know there's a lot of anxiety. If you're not feeling well, it's important to ask for help. We have to take care of each other. But I still want to wish all Quebecers health and happier news for 2022," said Premier François Legault at the conference.

Regardless of how you feel about the frequently-changing health measures, there's no denying they can get confusing. If you're feeling lost and want to avoid breaking the rules as well as potential fines, we've rounded up the latest restrictions below.

Curfew

Curfew is back almost one year after the initial curfew was announced. Quebec's first curfew period lasted more than four months, from January 9 to May 28, 2021.

The curfew hours are a little shorter this time around. As of December 31, most Quebecers must be indoors from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fines for violating the curfew range from $1,000 to $6,000.

There are exceptions for essential workers who have to be out during those hours, for people seeking health care and for what the government calls other, unspecified "humanitarian reasons."

The first curfew also applied to unhoused Quebecers until a superior court judge ordered an exemption, citing the rule's "discriminatory and disproportionate effect" on the unhoused population.

On Thursday, the premier said the curfew was necessary because while "the majority of Quebecers respect the [health] measures, [...] there's a minority that does not respect the measures." He further claimed that it would be impossible for police to enforce a curfew that only applied to the unvaccinated.

"It's a measure that's extreme because the situation is extreme," he continued, promising that as the current wave of COVID-19 infections dies down, the curfew will be the first rule lifted.

As if anticipating criticism, the government published a document on Thursday night claiming "several studies demonstrate the effects and efficacy of a curfew."

In the document, the Ministry of Health and Social Services says the decision to reintroduce a curfew is based in part on "modelling showing that a curfew could reduce hospitalizations."

Restaurants

Restaurant dining rooms are joining the list of eating, drinking and gaming establishments that must close. However, you can still support your favourite food spots by ordering via take-out, drive-thru and delivery.

Gatherings

Cancel your New Year's party plans because private gatherings are no longer allowed indoors — except with members of your own household.

There are some exceptions. According to the Government of Quebec's website, someone providing support or service, like a caregiver, may still visit another residence. Also, a person who lives alone can join another family bubble.

For those who can stand the cold weather, no changes to outdoor gathering rules have been announced. Outdoor gatherings were last capped at 20 people or the occupants of three households.

Outdoor events may also still take place with a maximum of 250 people.

Stores

Shops, which are already operating at a reduced 50% capacity limit, must now also close on Sundays.

Depanneurs, gas stations and pharmacies are exceptions so you'll be able to get some essential items on Sundays. However, grocery stores are set to close both this Saturday for New Year's and this Sunday as well as on January 9 and 16.

Premier Legault said this move was meant to help stores contend with a shortage of employees.

"Companies that offer services such as plumbers and veterinarians can remain open on Sunday," the government says.

Schools

All schools across the province — including CEGEPs and universities — will remain closed until January 17, but remote learning should be in place to fill in gaps until face-to-face learning can resume.

School daycare services will remain open for parents that really need them, such as essential workers.

Sports

All indoor sports are suspended unless they are done individually, in pairs or with occupants of the same household. But keep in mind that gyms and fitness centres remain closed.

Outdoor sports are still allowed. However, access to cabins and pavilions may be restricted. For example, the indoor facilities at ski hills are only open to people who need to warm up or use the bathroom.

Places Of Worship

Places of worship must close unless they are holding funerals, which are limited to 25 people indoors.

In Quebec, a vaccine passport is required to access many businesses and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or mental health concerns, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also contact a helpline which is available 24 hours a day to talk. Or click here, for additional resources.

If you need immediate assistance please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital. Support is available.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Subscribe to our Daily Digest and receive latest stories every day in your inbox.
Marc Bruxelle | Dreamstime

New year, same continuous record-breaking numbers for our province. On January 1, Quebec's daily COVID-19 case count saw the highest number we've seen since the start of the pandemic, reporting 17,122 new infections in the past 24 hours.

For the first time, Quebec announced over 17,000 new daily cases. The previous record was broken the day prior when the province reported 16,461 new cases. This marks five days in a row that Quebec has shattered its daily record.

Keep Reading Show less

Quebec Reported 16,461 New COVID-19 Cases — Another Record

This is the fourth record-breaking day in a row.

As a province-wide curfew comes into effect, Quebec is reporting 16,461 new COVID-19 cases, breaking its record for the fourth day in a row.

Quebec announced that it had surpassed the 14,000 daily case mark for the first time on December 30. It broke the 13,000 case barrier in its December 29 report and the 12,000 case mark on December 28.

Keep Reading Show less

Premier François Legault announced a long list of new health rules Thursday aimed at reducing contacts and slowing a meteoric rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Among them is the reintroduction of a nightly curfew, the closure of restaurant dining rooms and the closure of most Quebec stores on Sundays.

"We're seeing more and more that there are sectors that, because of the number of people who have COVID-19, can no longer function normally," Legault said at a press conference.

Keep Reading Show less

Quebec Is Closing Restaurant Dining Rooms Once Again

Delivery and takeout will still be allowed.

Say goodbye to your favourite restaurant for a while. As of December 31, Quebec restaurant dining rooms will be closed. Delivery and takeout will still be allowed, though.

Premier François Legault made the announcement at a press conference Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less