Here's what's reopening in Montreal and Quebec on Monday
An open sign is seen in an undated photo. (Artem Bali/Pexels)
MONTREAL -- As the COVID-19 lockdown measures ease up across the province, each week sees another step towards what feels like normalcy following months of quaratine.
Several businesses have reopened, people have gone back to work, and services have resumed – all with a tight set of health measures in place in an attempt to protect the province from a second wave of the virus.
Here are some changes to note for Monday, June 15 (which will be updated as announcements are made):
SMALL INDOOR GATHERINGS
Quebecers will be allowed to hold indoor gatherings of under 10 people from a maximum of three different households as early as Monday for most regions. The Montreal area, Joliette and L'Epiphanie be allowed to do so a week later, as of June 22.
The two-metre rule will still apply inside homes, and people with underlying health issues who are at risk of being harder hit by COVID-19 are not advised to have people over.
Restaurants in Quebec – except in the Montreal, Joliette and L'Epiphanie regions – have been given the green light to reopen by public health officials as of Monday. The three exceptions will follow a week later, on June 22.
Managers will determine how many clients can be served in the restaurant inside and outside at a time, and they will need to ensure two metres of distancing.
Most libraries in Montreal will begin accepting book returns via outdoor drop-offs as of Monday and will gradually resume activities the following week.
In line with public health recommendations, access to departments as well as computer and printing stations will remain suspended until further notice, but some pick-up and reservation services will be available beginning on June 22.
Safety measures will be put in place inside the libraries, including a three-day isolation period for returned items.
Not all libraries will be reopening just yet, so people are being asked to consult the city’s website for details.
On Wednesday evening, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) announced its plan to communicate with people whose driving tests have been cancelled due to the pandemic to reschedule them as a priority, as the services are set to gradually resume on Monday. Other people who want to take the test will be able to register as of June 22.
Health measures will be in place at the SAAQ to limit the spread of COVID-19 – vehicles will have to be disinfected before and after the driving exam; a plastic cover should be placed on the evaluator’s seat; and they will need to wear a mask and protective glasses.
Learner drivers are also being asked to wear a mask during their exams or when visiting the SAAQ.
Montrealers will be able to wander through the city's botanical gardens as of Monday. Some activities have been cancelled to adhere to provincial health guidelines – but a lighter program will be available in July and August.
Visitors are being asked to consult the garden’s website before heading over, as tickets will be sold for specific time slots to control capacity. The centre is also recommending for people to purchase their tickets online to limit contact at their offices. Between June 15 and Aug. 31, admission will be free for children aged 17 and under.
The greenhouses will remain closed for the time being, as will the pavilions in the Chinese and Japanese gardens.
DOG TRAINING SERVICES
The organization that trains and educates dogs in Quebec will be able to restart its activities Monday.
The Regroupement quebecois des intervenants en education canine (RQIEC) sent a letter to the Quebec government asking when it can restart its operations as the window for socializing puppies is fast closing, and extended confinement could damage dogs’ abilities to learn social skills.
The province’s workers health and safety board (CNESST) responded that canine education workers can begin offering services June 15.
With files from The Canadian Press.