Life in the red zone: Here's what you can and can't do
MONTREAL -- As of Wednesday at midnight, people in three regions in Quebec are living life in a red zone: the greater Montreal area (including Laval and the South Shore), the Quebec City area and Chaudiere-Appalaches.
Along with the new red-zone designation comes a packet of new restrictive measures - and the list continues to evolve.
Here's a little breakdown of some of the dos and don’ts:
Do I have to stay inside my home?
Premier Legault said the general rule is “we must stay at our house,” but has not imposed a lockdown. You can go out to shop or to take a walk or go to work, for example.
Can I invite friends or family over?
No – inviting people from another address into your home or cottage, is prohibited, unless you live alone – then you’re permitted to have one visitor.
Also allowed inside:
• One caregiver
• People like plumbers or electricians who are offering services
• People offering household support, like a tutor or a babysitter
What if I want to visit with a few friends, outside in my backyard?
The Health Ministry is firm on this point – in the red zone, private gatherings of any size are forbidden whether they’re held inside or outside the home.
Can I visit a park with another family or go jogging with a friend?
Get-togethers in public spaces like a parks aren't forbidden but aren't recommended. In an effort to clear up the confusion, the director of public health explained on Thursday, the objective of the new government decree is to prevent a person or family bubble from having any prolonged social contact with people outside their bubble, but not to prevent people from getting fresh air and being active. Dr. Horacio Arruda is asking people to "use their judgement,” and to resist the pull of “human nature,” as much as possible.
For example, Arruda asked people not to go to a park with another family or jog with a neighbour or friend because it’s very difficult for people to constantly stay two metres apart. If they do make plans with others, he says they must try to maintain that physical distance and wear masks if they can.
“It’s about common sense,” Premier Francois Legault said today, when it comes to socializing, adding that while there are exceptions and may be some precisions to come, the rule of thumb is to avoid spending social time with people who do not live at your address.
While speaking about public gatherings on Wednesday Legault said police will “disperse crowds and those who do not comply will be ticketed.”
Wearing a mask at demonstrations and rallies is now mandatory.
The City of Montreal now forbids any outside organized activities, including riverbank clean-ups and guided park tours. All restaurant terraces must be shut down.
Have the rules changed for seniors residences?
Seniors will be able to have a visitor for "humanitarian purposes," and one caregiver at a time can visit, up to a maximum of two people per day at a CHSLD. Some private seniors residences have more stringent rules, and have banned visitors altogether.
Can I throw a small event?
You’ll have to postpone the festivities for now. Any activities organized in a public place are prohibited. The exceptions are funerals and specific activities in houses of worship, up to a maximum of 25 people. A register must also be kept.
Can I go apple-picking or hiking?
Enjoying autumn-activities is still okay, but you’re expected to stay in your own neck of the woods, instead of travelling to an orchard or mountain that’s in a green, yellow or orange zone.
What types of businesses are closed?
All bars and brasseries will are closed, as will restaurant dining rooms, but you’ll still be able to place an order for take-out or delivery.
You can’t attend the theatre or go to a cinema, museum or library – those communal spaces are closed once again. However the city is offering contactless book loans.
Also unavailable to visitors: the Biodome, Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium.
What businesses will remain open?
All stores, boutiques, malls, pharmacies and grocery stores will be open for business with the same public hygiene measures in place.
Access Montreal offices remain open as do eco-centres, municipal court and community gardens
Will I be able to get my hair cut?
Yes, aesthetic, personal care services and hair salons will still be operating.
Can I still play hockey or go work out at my gym?
A most popular query – and that’s affirmative. You can still usually get on the ice at an arena, and private gyms will be able to operate as well. However check with your city or town before heading out. TMR for example decided to close some of its sports facilities for now.
The City of Montreal is keeping its exterior sports fields and facilities operational.
The province’s general public health measures have remained unchanged. People are still required to keep two metres of distance from others, wear a mask in indoor public spaces and when maintaining a two-metre distance from others, is difficult.