New COVID-19 measures and Quebec’s curfew are about 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 will come into effect in Quebec on Friday, December 31 at 5 p.m., including a curfew and an assembly ban. . Too bad for those New Years Eve plans, eh?

“Experts tell us that there is a risk that [our hospitals] will not 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 tough. I know there is a lot of anxiety. If you are not feeling well, it is important to seek help. We have to take care of each other. But I still want to wish all Quebecers health and better news for 2022, ”Prime Minister François Legault said at the conference.

No matter what you think of frequently changing health metrics, there’s no denying that they can be confusing. If you’re feeling lost and want to avoid breaking the rules along with potential fines, we’ve rounded up the latest restrictions below.


The curfew is back almost a year after the initial curfew was announced. The first curfew period in Quebec lasted more than four months, from January 9 to May 28, 2021.

The curfew hours are a bit shorter this time around. As of December 31, most Quebecers must be inside 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 must be absent during these hours, for people seeking health care and for what the government calls other unspecified “humanitarian reasons”.

The first curfew also applied to homeless Quebecers until a superior court judge ordered an exemption, citing the rule’s “discriminatory and disproportionate effect” on the homeless population.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister declared that the curfew was necessary because if “the majority of Quebecers respect the [health] measures, […] there is a minority that does not respect the measures. ”He further asserted that it would be impossible for the police to enforce a curfew which applied only to the unvaccinated.

“It’s an extreme measure because the situation is extreme,” he continued, promising that as the current wave of COVID-19 infections wears off, curfews will be the first rule. lifting.

As if anticipating criticism, the government issued a document Thursday evening, saying that “several studies demonstrate the effects and effectiveness of a curfew.”

In the document, the Department of Health and Human Services says the decision to reintroduce a curfew is based in part on “modeling showing that a curfew could reduce hospitalizations.”


Restaurant dining rooms are joining the list of food, beverage and gambling establishments that must close. However, you can still support your favorite restaurants by ordering via take-out, drive-through, and delivery.


Cancel your New Year’s party plans, as private gatherings are no longer allowed indoors except with members of your own household.

There are a few exceptions. According to Government of Quebec website, a person who provides support or services, such as a caregiver, can still go to another residence. Also, a person who lives alone can join another family bubble.

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

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


Stores, which are already operating with a reduced capacity limit of 50%, must now also close on Sundays.

Convenience stores, gas stations, and drugstores are exceptions, so you’ll be able to pick up essential items on Sundays. However, grocery stores will close both this Saturday for New Years and this Sunday as well as January 9 and 16.

Premier Legault said the move was aimed at helping stores cope with an employee shortage.

“Companies that offer services like plumbers and veterinarians can stay open on Sundays”, the government says.


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

School day care will remain open for parents who really need it, such as essential workers.


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

Outdoor sports are still permitted. However, access to cabins and lodges may be restricted. For example, indoor ski slope facilities 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 a funeral, which is limited to 25 people inside.

In Quebec, a vaccination passport is necessary to access many shops and activities deemed non-essential, including restaurants and bars.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression or mental health issues, please contact a peer, parent or healthcare professional you trust. You can also contact a helpline who is available 24 hours a day to speak. Or Click here, for additional resources.

If you need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital. Assistance is available.

The cover image for this article is used for illustration purposes only.

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