What’s allowed and what’s not in Quebec’s coronavirus red zones

Charlie works the grill at a local diner in Montreal, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Bars, restaurant and dining rooms in red zones in Quebec will close at midnight for 28 days as of midnight Wednesday. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A new set of restrictions are in store for the Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions to stem the tide of COVID-19.

Those three areas are officially in a red zone, the province’s highest alert level for the health crisis, starting Thursday.

Here is a guide to the tightened measures and partial lockdown aimed at limiting the second wave of the novel coronavirus.

How long is the partial lockdown?

Quebec has placed those three regions in its highest alert level for nearly a month.

The new rules are set to last Oct. 1-28 — if all goes well. Premier François Legault says he hopes to lift restrictions if the situation improves, but can’t make false promises.

READ MORE: Quebec will use federal coronavirus exposure app amid second wave

What’s closed in red zones?

Bars, theatres, cinemas, casinos, and museums are closed for at least four weeks starting Thursday.

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Libraries are also physically off-limits, but Montrealers can still borrow books with contactless pickup.

Dining rooms in restaurants have also been ordered to shut down, but takeout and delivery are permitted.

What’s open?

Schools and daycares remain open, but the sanitary rules put in place are still in effect.

Gyms, retail stores, hair salons and other beauty care businesses remain open.

In Montreal, outdoor sports complexes and fields are still accessible.

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Private professional health services are allowed to operate, but only for services that require the patient to be physically there.

Places of worship are allowed to accommodate a maximum of 25 people and must keep a register.

Community organizations are also permitted to stay open.

Can I have someone over to my house?

The short answer is no. Quebecers who lived in designated red zones are prohibited from inviting others to their homes.

There are a few exceptions, however. The government says informal caregivers, individuals offering support or labour for planned work are permitted.

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People who live alone are also allowed to welcome one other individual into their residences.

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Can I visit loved ones in long-term care homes?

Visits are limited in long-term care homes and private seniors’ residences located in red zones.

The goal is to keep the health crisis from sweeping through those facilities like it did during the deadly first wave.

The province says visits for humanitarian purposes are allowed. Informal caregivers are allowed to visit the elderly, but it’s limited to one person at a time and a maximum of two people per day.

Are private gatherings okay?

Private gatherings are not allowed in red zones.

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Are gatherings in public places permitted?

Social gatherings in public places are also prohibited.

There are two exceptions: gatherings are allowed at funerals and places of worship. There is a maximum of 25 people allowed and a register of everyone attending must be maintained.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, for instance, has urged all city dwellers to steer clear of socializing in parks.

What about protests?

The province says protests or rallies are permitted, but all attendees must wear a mask to curb the spread of the virus.

READ MORE:Stay home and don’t gather in parks as Montreal enters partial coronavirus lockdown, mayor pleads

Can I travel to other parts of Quebec?

Quebecers in red zones are asked not to travel to regions that aren’t as hard hit by the health crisis.

There is no ban, but the province says people should avoid heading to designated green, yellow and orange zones.

However, it is prohibited to dine at restaurants open in other regions that are not at the maximum alert level.

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Essential travel such as for work and freight transportation is allowed.

Can I go to Ontario or elsewhere in Canada?

It is strongly advised that people in Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches do not travel outside of the province.

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