COVID lockdown ends in Gatineau: A look at the restrictions in Gatineau and Ottawa

Gatineau emerged from a 45-day lockdown Monday, with the curfew moving back to 9:30 p.m. and some non-essential businesses and personal and esthetic care services allowed to reopen.

The Quebec government lifted the special emergency measures for Gatineau, Pontiac and the MRC-des-Collines one week after the restrictions were lifted in Papineau and the Vallee de la Gatineau.

Quebec imposed the lockdown measures on Gatineau back on April 1, which included the closure of schools and non-essential businesses. The special emergency measures were extended to the entire Outaouais region on April 14. 

With COVID-19 cases declining in the region, Gatineau and the Outaouais region are now in the Level 4 – Maximum Alert red zone. 

The parking lot at Les Promenades Gatineau filled up quickly Monday morning, as shoppers arrived to buy non-essential items inside a store for the first time since April.

Chantale Desrosiers lives in Gatineau and went to Costco. "It was crazy," she said. "It was worse than Christmas. Absolutely crazy, where the clothes part was."

The maximum number of customers allowed in a store depends on the size. Quebec says the capacity will be determined by dividing the floor area available to customers by 20.

Despite a stay-at-home order in Ontario, some Ottawa residents couldn’t stay away, including Gideon Kamunga. Kamunga visited Costco and Sports Experts.

"We were at home for so long so it is nice to just get out and buy a (basketball) ball for example," Kamunga said.

Ottawa resident Robert Lalonde told CTV News Ottawa he isn’t surprised to see Ontario shoppers. He said he bought mostly food products today. "we could have gone to another store." he said. "We did buy some clothes."

Hair salon owner Olivia Barrett says it has been a "roller-coaster year." This is her third time re-opening her salon Tok on rue Montcalm.

"We are feeling really fortunate because we are able to get back to work, reschedule all our appointments for the third time in a row. I know a lot of colleagues in Toronto they are still in lockdown, since November. Ontario is still closed and a lot of small businesses are having a rough time right now," Barrett said.

She adds her staff has made thousands of call this past week to reschedule appointments.

"We are booked until the summer. July and August."

Barrett says Ontario clients will have to wait.

"We are trying to follow the government guidelines, we are not encouraging people to come over (from Ontario) and get their hair done. We have pushed those appointments until June until further notice."

Safety measures are in place including shields around washing stations, strict sanitization protocols and staff change their masks, shields and gowns after every client.

Secondary schools reopened for in-person learning Monday, one week after elementary school students in Gatineau and the Outaouais returned to class. 

Here is a look at the other changes in Gatineau and the Outaouais as the region moves to the red zone:

  • Curfew 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Private indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited
  • Restaurants and bars only allowed to open for takeout and delivery
  • Non-essential businesses, stores and boutiques are open
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums are open with measures in place
  • Gyms remain closed
  • Cinemas are open with measures in place

While some COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in the Outaouais, Ottawa and all of Ontario begin a new week under the stay-at-home order, which will keep all non-essential businesses closed until at least June 2.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the different rules and regulations for Ottawa and Gatineau during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CURFEW

Ottawa

  • There is currently no curfew in effect for Ottawa.

The Ontario government says during the stay-at-home order, you should only go out for the following reasons:

  • The grocery store or pharmacy
  • Health care services
  • Outdoor exercise or walking pets
  • Work that cannot be done remotely
  • Child care or school 

Gatineau

An overnight curfew is in effect for Gatineau and the Outaouais. Under the "red" zone, residents must not leave their homes between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Exceptions allowed under the curfew include:

  • Walking your dog within one kilometre of your home
  • Going to or returning from work
  • Going to the pharmacy to pick up essential medication or pharmaceutical, hygienic or sanitary products
  • Visiting a sick or injured parent
  • A student who must participate in face-to-face evening classes or go to a laboratory in a recognized school
  • A parent who must accompany his or her children to the home of the other parent who has custody of them
  • Going to the hospital or a medical appointment

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

Ottawa

Indoor and outdoor organized public events and social gatherings are not allowed, except with members of the same household.

Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household.

Gatineau

Indoor or outdoor gatherings in private homes are prohibited.

Visitors are allowed for:

  • one visitor from another address for single individuals (the same person to limit social contacts)
  • one informal caregiver
  • individuals offering services or support
  • labour for planned work

WEDDINGS, FUNERALS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS SERVICES

Ottawa

  • Capacity limits indoors and outdoors: 10 people maximum
  • Receptions are not permitted indoors or outdoors unless with members of the same household or with one other person from outside of the household that lives alone.
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted.

Gatineau

  • Funerals are limited to a maximum of 25 people.
  • Places of worship are limited to 25 participants – the maximum number of people also applies for funerals or weddings.

SCHOOLS

Ottawa

  • Elementary and secondary schools are closed to in-person learning

Gatineau

  • All elementary and secondary schools are open for in-person learning
  • All students in Grades 1 to 6 and secondary school students must wear a mask at all times while in the school

RESTAURANTS, BARS AND NIGHT CLUBS

Ottawa

  • Restaurant dining rooms and patios are closed for in-person dining
  • Takeout, drive-thru and delivery permitted (including the sale of alcohol)

Gatineau

  • Restaurant dining rooms are closed
  • Delivery, takeout and drive-thru orders only. Only delivery is possible during the curfew

RETAIL

Ottawa

  • Supermarkets, convenience stores and other stores that primarily sell food may open for in-person shopping with 25 per cent capacity.
  • Pharmacies may open for in-person retail with 25 per cent capacity
  • Discount and big box stores can only open for in-person shopping at a maximum of 25 per cent capacity for: grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care and personal care items, household safety supplies
  • Shopping malls are open for picking up purchases
  • Outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping at a maximum of 25 per cent capacity.
  • LCBO and Beer Stores outlets can open for in-person shopping with 25 per cent capacity
  • Cannabis stores can open for curbside pickup and delivery
  • All non-essential businesses can only open for curbside pickup and delivery

Gatineau

  • Businesses, stores and boutiques can open for in-store shopping
  • To comply with the 9:30 p.m. curfew, all commercial enterprises must close their doors no later than 9 p.m.

GYMS, FITNESS CENTRES AND SPORTS

Ottawa

  • Gyms and fitness centres are closed
  • Gyms and health clubs can open for access to physical therapy for a person with a disability

The following outdoor recreational amenities are closed:

  • Golf courses
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Soccer fields
  • Tennis courts and pickleball courts
  • Basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • Skate parks
  • Portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment 

Gatineau

  • Fitness centres are closed
  • Individuals, groups of two and members of the same household are permitted to engage in indoor, contact-free activities limited to sports carried out in pools, skating rinks and facilities for tennis and badminton.
  • Contact-free sports and recreational activities are permitted outdoors in public places with members of the same household or in groups of up to 8 people from different households.

PERSONAL CARE SERVICES

Ottawa

  • All personal care services are closed

Gatineau

  • Spas and personal and esthetic care settings are open
  • The indoor areas of spas must close, except for pools and personal care services

CINEMAS

Ottawa

  • Closed

Gatineau

  • Cinemas are open with measures in place. No more than 250 people are allowed per screen. Masks are mandatory and food and drink cannot be consumed in the halls

BUSINESSES NOT PERMITTED TO OPEN 

Ottawa

  • Amusement parks, water parks
  • Bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Concert venues, theatres
  • Day camps
  • Horse racing
  • Motorsports
  • Museums and cultural amenities
  • Tour and guide services
  • Zoos and aquariums