MONTREAL -- After seven weeks of shutdowns and closures, Quebec has begun to gradually restart and reopen economic, educational and social activities across the province.

Essential services remained open throughout the pandemic with construction, mining and landscaping added to the list in mid-April.

Starting Monday, the Quebec government lifted restrictions on a number of sectors of the province.

Monday, May 4

Schools, daycare services and educational childcare services are open for staff to prepare for reopenings.

Retail stores with an exterior entrance (not shopping malls) can resume activities except those in the Communaute metropolitaine de Montreal (CMM), which can open a week later. Supply chain businesses for these retailers can also resume activities.

Cottage country has begun to reopen and travel restrictions have been removed. Checkpoints have been lifted in regions for non-local traffic. For a full list of territories where access is now granted, visit the government of Quebec’s website.

Monday, May 11

Preschools and elementary schools in “cold” regions, with the exception of those in Montreal, will be gradually reopened.

Non-subsidized daycares, recognized and non-recognized family daycare centres will be reopened except for those in the MMC.

Checkpoints will be lifted with access permitted in Outaouais except for trips from Ottawa to Gatineau, and access to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Abitibi-Temiscamingue regions will be permitted. The La Tuque populations centre for the Mauricie and Centre-du-Quebec regions is also opened.

Monday, May 18

More regions will become accessible: most of Bas-Saint Laurent, Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Charlevoix and Charlevoix-Est, and Côte-Nord, with some exceptions within those areas.

Monday, May 25

Montreal retailers with an exterior entrance can reopen. Originally, they were given the green light to open as of May 11, but the government delayed the reopening of all non-essential businesses in Montreal by a week, and then by another week. High numbers of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations were cited as part of the reason. 

Likewise, Montreal preschools and elementary schools will be reopened, after first being scheduled to open on May 19, then delayed by nearly a week.

Childcare services in Montreal will reopen if the situation allows.

Retail stores about to reopen

All construction industry (residential, civil engineering and roads, institutional, commercial and industrial) worksites can resume work, as can their supply chains.

The construction administrative sector, however, must continue teleworking.

Manufacturing companies in all regions of Quebec can resume work with a limited staff. A maximum of 50 workers, and 50 per cent of the employees exceeding the 50-worker limit is permitted. For example, a manufacturer who employs 60 workers per shift regularly can operate with a maximum of 55 employees.

Checkpoints will be lifted to access the Bas-Saint Laurent, Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine and Cote Nord regions except for the Minganie and Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent MRCs. Charlevoix and Charlevoix East will be reopened.

Quebec school

On the 25th, restrictions on number of employees in the manufacturing sector will be lifted, and full operations may resume.

Though activites are permitted to resume, compliance with physical distancing measures must be maintained with handshakes, hugs and double kisses to be avoided.

The government is asking all employees who can telework to continue to do so. 

Those employers looking for assistance properly equipping staff and workplaces with preventative measures can visit CNESST's website which includes toolkits and guides to preventing COVID-19 spread.