MONTREAL -- In the next phase of Quebec’s deconfinement, concert venues, theatres and cinemas in the province will be allowed to reopen as of June 22.

On Monday, during one of the province’s COVID-19 press briefings, officials announced indoor gatherings of 50 people or less will be permitted starting next week, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of 2 metres. In spaces where spectators will be sitting and only getting up to enter or exit the venue, officials have reduced the physical distancing guideline to 1.5 metres between people.

Officials also said on Monday that there’s a possibility the limit of 50 people could be increased to 250 in the coming weeks.

This announcement will allow the province's cultural sector to resume most of its activities, at least partially. 

“The cultural community and the general public have long awaited this reunion in spaces that offer us unique works and cultural experiences,” said Quebec’s Minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, in a press release on Tuesday. “With the backing of public health, I can finally announce the reopening of places that reflect the vitality of our Quebec culture so well.”

Artists and employees at all establishments will have to adapt to guidelines laid out by public health and Quebec’s workplace safety board, CNESST. Roy's department has been consulting with the cultural community in the province to understand the challenges they will face as they reopen amid the pandemic. 

“With all these precautions, cultural events can soon resume across Quebec,” Roy said. “Let's reclaim these places that contribute to our well-being, our pride and our identity.”