Quebec is going back into lockdown as the government is forcing all non-essential businesses to shut down from December 25 to January 10, 2021.
Premier François Legault is calling the 17-day restriction a “holiday pause” and says the initiative is an attempt to neutralize the transmission of COVID-19 and lessen the burden on the healthcare system.
Students across the province will be learning remotely until January 10 and Legault says all office employees will be required to work from home until the same time.
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The Quebec government website says the lockdown is “taking advantage” of the holiday season, when many residents will already be at home. Working from home will be mandatory for “all office workers, except those whose physical presence is necessary to pursue the organization’s activities.”
The work-from-home mandate applies to all jobs in the public and private sector throughout Quebec.
Après des discussions avec les responsables de la santé publique, je vous annonce qu’on va faire une pause du temps des fêtes jusqu’au 11 janvier.
On va pouvoir profiter du ralentissement des fêtes pour casser la 2e vague.
Voici les détails de l’annonce d’aujourd’hui : pic.twitter.com/ChSXbkuMsy
— François Legault (@francoislegault) December 15, 2020
To make the new restrictions a little bit easier to understand, the government has published a list on its website featuring which commercial enterprises are authorized to operate from December 25 to January January 10, 2021:
- pet food and supply stores
- medical, orthopaedic, and eye care goods stores
- work equipment stores (safety and protection)
- household and building cleaning products stores
- stores that sell products, parts, and other material necessary for transportation and logistics services (garages for repairs only, not for sales by car dealers)
- stores that sell products for farms, such as mechanical equipment, fertilizer, etc.
- computer and electronic equipment repair service stores
- convenience stores
- grocery stores and other food stores
- It should be noted that only the sale of essential products, usually sold in the commercial enterprises included in this list, is authorized. Store operators must ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent access to and the sale of other products.
- hardware stores
- It should be noted that only the sale of essential hardware products will be authorized during this period. Store operators must ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent access to and the sale of other products.
- sports and outdoor recreational equipment repair and rental stores
- the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ)
- the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC)
Professional healthcare services (dentists, optometrists, physiotherapists, osteopaths) are not covered by the closings and can pursue their activities, as per the government.
Personal care services such as hairdressing, manicures, or spas must close during the new 17-day lockdown throughout Quebec.
Restaurants can continue to function only via delivery or take-out.