Life in the red zone: here's what you can and can't do

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Level ‘red’ is the Quebec government’s highest alert.

As of Wednesday at midnight, it will apply to three regions in Quebec: 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. 

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 or a park?

The Health Ministry is firm – in the red zone, private gatherings of any size are prohibited whether they’re held inside or outside the home. Get-togethers in a public space like a park aren't forbidden but aren't recommended. On Tuesday, Montreal’s Mayor said she would keep public spaces open, but Valerie Plante said police will be present to warn people who aren’t following public health guidelines.

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.

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 it’s recommended you 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 close, as will restaurant dining rooms, but you’ll still be able to place an order for take-out or delivery. You won’t attend the theatre or go to a cinema, museum or library – those communal spaces will be closed once again.

What businesses will remain open?

All stores, boutiques, malls, pharmacies and grocery stores will be open for business with all the same public hygiene measures in place.

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 get on the ice at an arena, and gyms will be able to operate as well.

Wearing a mask is now also mandatory at all demonstrations or rallies.

The province’s general public health measures have remained unchanged. People are still required to keep a two-metre distance from others, wear a mask in indoor public spaces, and, when maintaining a two-metre distance from others, is difficult.


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